Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John20: 24-25)
We often remember Thomas as “the doubter,” because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection. Shortly after Jesus' resurrection He appeared before His disciples in a closed room, however, Thomas was not present (John 20:19–23). When Jesus appeared to the other disciples, He showed them His hands and His side (John 20:20). No doubt they told Thomas about seeing the Lord's pierced hands and side because Thomas said that he would not "believe" unless he could touch Jesus' wounds (John 20:25).
Have you ever wished you could actually see Jesus, touch Him, and hear His words? Are there times you want to sit down with Him and get His advice? Thomas wanted Jesus’ physical presence. But God’s plan is wiser, He has not limited Himself to one physical body; He wants to be present with you at all times. Even now He is with you in the form of the Holy Spirit. You can talk to Him, and you can find His words to you in the pages of the Bible. He can be as real to you as He was to Thomas.
And after eight days His disciples were again inside and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:26-29)
Jesus’ resurrected body was unique. It was not the same kind of flesh and blood Lazarus had when he came back to life. Jesus’ body was no longer subjected to the same laws of nature as before His death. He could appear in a locked room; yet He was not a ghost or apparition because He could be touched and could eat. Jesus’ resurrection was literal and physical—He was not a disembodied spirit.
Jesus wasn’t hard on Thomas for his doubts. Despite his skepticism, Thomas was still loyal to the believers and to Jesus Himself. Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a life-style that doubt harms faith. When you doubt, don’t stop there. Let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answers.
In awestruck wonder, Thomas not only believed that Christ was risen from the dead, but he also saw that the Resurrection proved His deity (John 20:28). Some people think they would believe in Jesus if they could see a definite sign or miracle. But Jesus says we are blessed if we can believe without seeing (John 20:29). We have all the proof we need in the words of the Bible and the testimony of believers. A physical appearance would not make Jesus any more real to us than He is now. Those who have not seen our risen Lord Jesus includes all who have believed in Christ since His ascension to the Father (1 Pet. 1:8, 9).
So my question to you this morning is this. Are you a Doubting Thomas? Or, have you accepted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by faith alone, that He is the Son of the Living God?
References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.