On eternal things – Thomas

From In Touch (emphasis added)

John 20:25-29

“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he (Thomas) said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 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.”

Thomas is an “everyman”. He hadn’t yet seen the resurrected Jesus, though he’d heard, as you and I have heard that Jesus had risen from the dead. Angry, hurt, and confused, he resisted believing the bewildering accounts of resurrection—accounts that came from trusted friends he had lived with for three years.

Thomas was no stranger to resurrection. With his own eyes, he’d seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead—and he had believed. But he had also personally seen Jesus crucified, and that’s when his dream of the kingdom died. Crucifixion seemed more powerful than resurrection, more final. Faith crumbled; hope was crushed.

Then Jesus appeared alive, and gently said, “Peace be with you,” offering Thomas all the proof he needed. The proof he personally needed. Resurrection, it turns out, was more permanent than death.Face it: Believing in resurrection isn’t easy no matter how many people tell you it happened. Jesus still has to bring us to belief, to give our hearts and minds and souls peace in faith. Without appearing physically to us, He gives us what we need in order to believe—what we ourselves need. And as He did with Thomas, Jesus seeks us out.

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

1. Thomas had seen miracles; he’d witnessed many demonstrations of Jesus’ supernatural power. Yet the crucifixion shook his faith badly. Has anything ever shaken your faith to the core, even though you may previously have seen numerous works of God? What can you learn from Thomas’s experience?

2. In order to believe, Thomas needed something tangible—something special for him. The vast majority of Christians have never seen the resurrected Jesus, yet God gives us what we each need in order to believe. What did (or do) you need for faith to become real? How has Jesus revealed Himself to you or how do you still need Him to do so?

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