“‘Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20.24-29
As I have written before, Thomas gets a bad rap. His disbelief that Jesus rose from the dead was understandable. I mean, no one believed until they saw him. The entire early clan of Jesus followers had the benefit of seeing Jesus after the resurrection. They believed and were fired up to tell others.
But what about Thomas? He did not believe until he saw, until he touched, until he spoke to Jesus. He was honest in his doubt by saying, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” After Thomas spoke these words, a week past. God had nothing to prove. He loved Thomas but perhaps a week of struggle and doubt was just what he needed.
And then the glorious moment occurs when through a locked door Jesus walks. He comes up to Thomas and repeats to him exactly what Thomas had said was his requirement for belief. He saw the scars of Jesus and put his hand in his side. And Jesus said, “Stop doubting and believe.”
How many of us are like Thomas, we doubt, we wonder, we explain away, we lessen God’s power? How many of us confuse our doubt with disbelief? Maybe we just need to stop our doubting and believe. Perhaps we need to turn and trust in Jesus to save us from the sins of the past.
Why not believe in him right now? Blessed are those who believe and do not see. Could this be you today?
“O Lord God, I know of too many people who do not trust you, do not invite you in, do not consider you worthy of time and energy. But you are in all things, you are everywhere in your creation. You knew what Thomas spoke even before you showed up in person. Come now, Holy Spirit, cause us to believe. Help our unbelief! Turn our hearts to rejoicing and help us walk according to your ways. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen