All of the disciples of Jesus Christ had dispersed from the upper room. They heard the words “death” and “betrayal”. Their thoughts and emotions must have been running high on the night Jesus was betrayed. To continue this series, I wonder what one of the disciples named Thaddeus must have thought. We don’t know much about him, but in their confusion, Thaddeus must have rested on one of many promises Jesus gave him. Here is one what Thaddeus might have said:
“When I followed Jesus and he chose me to be one of his disciples, I was certain he was the Messiah. I thought he was the kind of leader Israel needed. He’s an amazing teacher, not afraid of anything or anyone, and the miracles prove that this was the Savior we have been hoping and praying for. That he would restore the nation of Israel to its former glory.
But, he has turned out to be a much different Messiah than I thought. Each day with Jesus has been an adventure. My head continues to swirl from all that he has taught us in such a short time. His teaching has been so much different than what I learned from my rabbi at home. It seems that every night I go to sleep; I try to absorb all that I’ve seen and heard. And I drift off to sleep with more questions than answers. Is Jesus the Messiah? Is he the Savior of my people?
It helps when I remember what Jesus told the synagogue ruler named Jairus. I was standing right next to him when a servant from his house came right up to tell Jairus not to bother Rabbi Jesus anymore, because his daughter was dead. When Jesus heard this, he grabbed Jairus by the shoulders and looked him in the eye and said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.” I wish you could have been there. The commotion of grief outside his house turned to shock and joy when Jairus’ daughter appeared at the door. Alive!
I admit to you this evening that doubt penetrates my thoughts right now. Questions still loom. This is not how I pictured the Messiah would be. But even during this time of uncertainty, I hang on to the words Jesus told Jairus in his moment of greatest despair, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” It is these words I hang onto right now here in Jerusalem.”