December 17, 2020 – Thursday
John 20:24-29 NIV
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus*), 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.”
*Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin.
I must confess the verses above are among my favorites in the New Testament and verse 29 is my greatest favorite. The reason is because while we have not seen and yet we believe, Jesus says, we are blessed.
Now let us look at the exchange above where Thomas refuses to believe the testimony of the eleven and others who have seen Jesus. They told him, We have seen the Lord! Imagine the level of obstinacy required to stand up against all the others. We have nicknamed him Doubting Thomas, but he was standing his ground. He even 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. The intestinal fortitude to take such a position was incredible when everyone else believed, but then again, they had seen Jesus.
It was a week later when Jesus made it a point to deal with Thomas’ obstinacy. He directly addressed Thomas while He was among the disciples, Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe. We are not told if Thomas put his finger in the holes in Jesus’ hands or put his hand into Jesus’ side. However, it is likely he did see the nail marks in His hands and where He had been speared in His side. Thus, Thomas reply to Jesus, My Lord and my God! Clearly, he then believed.
It was then that Jesus stated directly to Thomas (and for all the others there to hear), Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. All who came afterwards, who did not see Jesus in the flesh after His resurrection and have believed without seeing Him are blessed. That obviously includes all of those who have accepted His resurrection since His ascension. Including us!
Backing up, there is the question of what are we to do when someone we know and/or love does not believe? If they are as obstinate as Thomas how do we go about changing their mind and heart? We don’t. Instead we pray for them and pray Jesus will reveal Himself to this person we know or love. It is God who will change their mind and heart, just as it was Jesus who changed Thomas’ mind. Think of the people you know who have been in trials and tribulations have somehow seen God’s hand in pulling them out of their dire circumstances. It may have even happened with you. The key once again is to pray, so let’s pray for those who do not believe.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Please accept our prayers for family, friends, and acquaintances who do not know Your Son as their Lord and Savior. Please reveal yourself to them in their lives. We know from Romans 1:20 Your invisible qualities have been clearly seen and people are without excuse. Still, some people, like Thomas, need some sort of direct impact and that is what we are asking for our family, friends, and acquaintances who do not believe. – In Jesus name, amen.