29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Events of the Bible repeat. And do we recognize them? The photo of the giant Archangel cloud was taken on Lake Texhoma by my cousin Bob with my brother John and me, the day he was trying to decide if he would join the Corps of Cadets at Texas A & M in 1989. We watched as Bob happened to have his camera and we were so glad. Relieved. Who takes a camera on a boat? This decade didn't have people carry around cameras all the time. The Angel was HUGE. We discussed - was this Jesus and decided Jesus never required wings. Cherubim require wings. John declared it was a sign. The Angel cloud did not disperse. And stayed a very long time. Sadly, we ignored the cloud and remarked, Wow there Still Stands the Archangel.
The Archangel Cloud remained more than an hour, perhaps two.
Events of the Scriptures will happen again and again. At Thanksgiving, several years later, Bob retrieved the Photo and I was awestruck. And wowed. My brother sarcastically asked me if I knew anyone who had ever seen anything like that - I replied that I would Truly Like to See That. The Looks I received were rewarding - enough. And I forgot again.
Another time - I was told of a young woman at a posh office being told, by her Ivy League Boss, stories of patronizing and advancement due to returns for sexual favors in college. The young woman was embarrassed, because if someone wandered by, that would sound like sexual harassment. What we don't see is Amazing.
John Adams was dying. He has set aside political glory to rekindle an old friendship - Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson had sacrificed old friends, had skated around and back on his promise not to remarry. His wife Martha was reportedly not happy with her husband's many absences and his time away when their son died. She had made him promise to never remarry for his absences. They were people with funds, yet no portrait or sketch exists of Martha. Thomas Jefferson's wife died after they'd been married only 10 years. She was young, had already been widowed, and spent the majority of her marriage to Jefferson ill. Five of her children died during her short lifetime. Jefferson was an almost inconsolable widower. And still John Adams, who had lived and died and thrived and sunk down to rise back up in the political tides of this Nation - reached past personal sorrows of Thomas sinking his presidency - and shored up Forgiveness.
Thomas wrote of his later years search in Scriptures in a letter to John Adams, dated October 13, 1813:
"In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves.
We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of … or, shall I say at once, of nonsense.
We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves.
There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines."
All have sinned and fallen short. What Thomas Jefferson found, was a relationship of crystal clarity - the Word of God, in Jesus the Lord, recognized in the soul of Thomas Jefferson.
Our Lord God, our Father GOD, has a unique sense of humor about the wisdom of man. Most supernatural events, miracles, are not included in Jefferson's heavily edited razor cut out "Words of Jesus." And as John Adams was dying, he spoke, his son records, "Thomas Jefferson Lives!" July 4th, 1826.
Do we recognize miracles in our own lives?
We have to let the Wonder of what He would show us, speak to us in His Word, make a difference - and hold that faith.
What does God want for us? Jesus in the turbulence of His Sacrifice, offered these words twice. How many times did Jesus repeat Himself - Not Often. Jesus expected people to listen to Him. It's the Scriptures that repeat. Not God speaking as Jesus.
Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
How comforting to know, when troubles come, God wants us to have Peace. Equipping us, in John's Gospel Chapter 20, with the Holy Spirit. Our Comforter. And Jesus asking us to reach up and forward for Peace. Not demanding us to be in Peace, not scolding Peace, but with instruction, with declarations of Love - asking us to Reach for Peace.
Lord God, creator of Heaven and earth, please dwell within me. Help my soul be a joy to You and be in all my cells and lighten my darkest corners. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.