John 20:25-29 - So the other disciples told him [Thomas], "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe." Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
O Thomas—talk about not being in the right place at the right time. When Jesus first appeared to the disciples who were hiding behind locked doors after His resurrection, Thomas wasn't there. When he heard the disciples' claims of having seen the risen Christ, Thomas didn't believe, in fact, he wouldn't believe unless he could physically see and touch and confirm for himself that it was the risen Jesus standing before him.
Well, fortunate for Thomas Jesus did appear to him eight days later. And Jesus' reply to Thomas' skeptical heart, "Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Jesus appeared to Thomas and revealed something Thomas had never seen before: a dead man who is alive and who brings peace and certainty to people. Jesus didn't put Thomas down because Thomas had relied upon his sight.
What Jesus did was reveal to Thomas that the meaning of life is more than what we can feel certain about based on what our senses may or may not tell us. That's because our physical senses only go so far. They can't discern the ultimate truth of God's love for us in Jesus Christ.
God's love is shown to us in the One who died on the cross for our sins, so that God and man might be reconciled. Jesus, both God and Man, the One who was crucified for our sins—is now alive! And it is this same Jesus, the Father's only Son, who shows Himself alive to Thomas, saying, "Peace be with you, Thomas." To this, Thomas famously exclaims, through the eyes of faith, "My Lord and my God!"
Now if the truth of Jesus' living and reigning after His resurrection was true for Thomas, it is most certainly true for us. What Jesus said to Thomas, He says to you and me: "Don't go on doubting, but believe." And then there are these words from John, reminding us of why he wrote his Gospel in the first place: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 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" (John 20:30-31).
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, please revive our doubting hearts with Your radiant presence. Amen.
From "Seeing Is Believing," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
1. Can you tell, usually, if someone is telling the truth?
2. Why might Thomas have been set against believing that Jesus had actually risen from the dead?
3. Does Jesus showing Himself to Thomas impact your faith in any way?
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