Lent – Day 19: Wednesday, 10 March
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 was a practical man. He liked to study the evidence. Any conclusions he drew would be from what he saw with his eyes and prodded with his fingers. He was so practical that he ended up being just a bit offensive. The Lord Jesus has come back, they told him. He’s got the marks of his wounds, but they’re healed! He’s risen! He’s risen! He’s actually risen!
Well, that’s how I imagine the other disciples trying to get through to Thomas. Perhaps he was a bit peeved that Jesus turned up when he wasn’t there. Was there a bit of, he can jolly well appear to me, too? Who knows, but what he did say just sits for me on the wrong side of trust in the disciples’ message.
Thomas spent a whole week being Thomas the doubter. Each day that passed he’d hear it again from the others. They’d get excited as they retold the story and got into conversations about what this all meant, and Thomas would sit in the corner doing whatever passed in those days for reading the newspaper.
Personally, I’d have sent a lightning bolt to Thomas. Fortunately, Jesus is gracious, and kind, and understanding. The risen Lord Jesus comes into the room, goes to the gobsmacked Thomas, and beckons him to touch. I don’t think Thomas now needed to do that – he may now have seen enough and been gently chastened by the experience.
His words, however, are amazing: My Lord and my God! Peter had proclaimed Jesus as son of the living God. Thomas makes a profound leap of faith. Jesus is God.
How blessed are you (v29)?
What are your areas of unbelief? Bring them to our gracious God.
Father God, keep me from being worldly. Touch me with a sense of your eternity, and the sure and certain knowledge that my Lord Jesus is alive with you and lives in me. In his name I pray. Amen