Scriptures

Jesus Appears To Thomas

Introduction

‘Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.’ 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!’ John 20:24-26

Thomas ‘one of the twelve’, the term still used, even though Judas has gone to his own place, Acts 1:18. Didymus means twin. He ‘wasn’t with them when Jesus came in the locked room’, John 20:19-23 and no reason is given.

He’s now nervous and restless, unsure of what’s happening, but the others ‘told him’, kept saying to him, all his dear friends and the women tell him of the returned Jesus, ‘we have seen the Lord’.

He isn’t convinced, but demands the same evidence that they have had, he will not believe until he receives physical proof. The similarities between John 20:19 and that which now occur are very similar to the arrival of Jesus on the first day of the week. The KJV says, ‘Eight days later’ John 20:26, was the inclusive method of counting, as with‘after three days’ and ‘on the third day’.

On the following first day, at evening the same condition obtained, ‘the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them, Peace by with you’.

It’s all as before for the sake of Thomas, the room is locked, the Lord appears, and the same greeting is offered. This again is probably because of the joyful commotion His reappearance caused and so Jesus says, ‘peace be with you’.

‘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.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ John 20:27-29

Here we see that Jesus knew exactly what Thomas’s difficulty in accepting His resurrection was. He immediately turned His attention to the doubter and gives him the physical proof required, ‘put your finger here’ etc. Though He hadn’t been present when Thomas said what he did, He knew exactly what the twin had said, and offered His wounds for examination, precisely what Thomas had requested.

Notice the play on words, ‘stop doubting and believe’, the KJV says, ‘be not faithless, but believing’ this is a play on words, ‘be not apistos but pistos’.

John doesn’t say Thomas actually touches Jesus, but he does record that he believed because he had ‘seen’ Jesus, John 20:29, but compare with Luke 24:39 and 1 John 1:1.

The demands of Thomas              The commands of Jesus

1. ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands’      1. ‘Put your finger here, see my hands’

2. ‘And put my hands into his side’                      2. ‘Reach your hand and put it into my side’.

3. I will not believe it.’                               3. ‘Stop doubting and believe’.

Thomas is now entirely convinced, the word Thomas uses, for Lord is the Greek ‘Kurios’ which can be used for a variety of titles starting at the bottom with the equivalent of sir right up to the term for God, or anything in between.

Thomas’ declaration is exactly what John states in His prologue, ‘the Logos was Theos’, John 1:1-2 / John 1:14 /Colossians 1:19 / Colossians 2:9 / Hebrews 1:8. The normal word for God is ‘Theos’, and this is used for the second descriptive word. Thomas basically says, ‘without doubt you are my risen Lord, and I acknowledge you as Deity!’

Jesus leaves with a great blessing on all modern Christians who have seen no miracles, no resurrected Jesus or even an apostle. We are blessed as we haven’t seen and yet believe.

‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe’ refers to some disciples then, Luke 24:33-34, it includes all who subsequently believed through the apostles’ word,John 20:30-31 / John 17:20 / 1 Peter 1:8. This however was a terrible rebuke of the one who needed to see.

Doubting Thomas!

I believe the term ‘doubting Thomas’ is unfairly used to describe Thomas because of this one event, it was only a week before when the other disciples doubted that Christ has risen from the grave, even when He was among them,Luke 24:38.

There were times when Thomas showed more courage and demonstrate more faith than the others. When the other disciples tried to keep Jesus from going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead because of the danger from those in the area who had just earlier tried to stone Him, John 11:8, it was Thomas who said to them, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’ John 11:16

It was also Thomas who asked Jesus, says, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ John 14:5-6

Conclusion

‘Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.’ John 20:30-31

I believe it’s not a coincidence that John ends this chapter with these words, because they contrast what’s just happened with Thomas and his doubting with the blessings which come from actually believing.

Here we see the purpose of the Gospel, John’s purpose in writing this book is that readers might believe, be convinced by adequate evidence, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that as a result they might have, ‘eternal’ life in His Name.

John says, that Jesus did ‘many other signs.’ John 2:23 / John 4:45 / John 12:37 / John 21:25. ‘In the presence of His disciples,’ all the signs ‘semeia’ of Jesus were authenticated by honest witnesses.

‘That you may believe,’ present tense, that you may keep on believing. John’s inspired record has produced ‘continuous and successive confirmation of faith in Jesus Christ through the ages.’

It’s encouraging to see that so much more occurred that hasn’t been mentioned in this book. John’s writings have given us sufficient knowledge about Jesus to accept Him and put our trust in Him.

I believe if we’re honest with ourselves, we would admit that there are times or have been times in our Christian journey where doubt sets into our minds. We know that Jesus won’t physically appear in front of us, but we can easily open our Bibles and remind ourselves of the many proofs which happened that He really is the risen Lord.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Romans 15:13

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