An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
(John 20:27-29)

The account of the risen Christ’s confrontation with the “doubting Thomas” is one of the most powerful, compelling, and yet tender, in all the Bible. The Lord had appeared to 10 of the original apostles, declaring His decisive victory over death, hell, and the grave (John 20:19-24). When the astonished witnesses told Thomas, who had been absent, the disheartened and skeptical apostle rejected their testimony outright. “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails,” he answered, “and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). We can certainly understand Thomas’s skepticism. Christ’s mission appeared to be a failure. He had promised the 12 apostles that they would sit on 12 thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the Kingdom He would establish (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:29-30). His riding into Jerusalem on a young donkey was His declaration to all that He was God’s promised Messiah, the rightful king of Israel (Zechariah 9:9). Despite the Lord’s predictions of His impending death at the hands of wicked men (Matthew 16:21; 17:11-12; 20:17-19), the apostles were shocked, confused, and devastated by His sudden arrest, trial, and ghastly execution. For certain, the power of darkness had its hour (Luke 22:53). Thomas was not about to get disappointed again. For Thomas, it was better to remain skeptical to the reports of Jesus’ resurrection than to be devastated a second time. But Thomas was a chosen vessel of the Lord (John 15:16), commissioned to take part in laying the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:19-20). To cure His skepticism and get Him functioning as a fruitful apostolic witness, the Lord appeared to Thomas also. “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side,” challenged the Lord, “and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27). Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34), and Thomas’ faith in Christ came to loud expression, “My Lord and my God!” he exclaimed (John 20:28). When we face challenges, stresses, and disappointments, we could wish that the Lord would give us similar visual demonstrations of His presence in our lives. God knows our struggles, dear friends, and has promised to reward us for our faith in Him and in His word, despite the absence of outright visible, supernatural sign miracles. The apostle Thomas was blessed to be sure, but we who have believed without seeing will in some ways be blessed in even greater measure than he. May this be an encouragement to all of us today.

God bless,

pastor john