20:19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
20:24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
20:25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
20:26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”
20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.
20:31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
The reappearing of Jesus after His death was met with a mix of shock and happiness. It is interesting to watch the disciples reactions because He had specifically told them that He would rise again and indeed He did!
One may read this passage of scripture and be quick to criticize Thomas and perhaps for some good reason. The disciples had fully told him that they had seen Christ and as mentioned, Christ himself had told them that He would come back to them. So why is it that Thomas doubted? Could it have been because He did not want to get his hopes up? Thought it was too good to be true? From what we understand, from reading Jesus’s response to Thomas in verse 29, it is fair to say that Thomas’s faith was shaken and he had a hard time believing Christ was now risen because of his lack of faith.
However, through this interaction we see between Jesus and Thomas, we see a beautiful picture of God’s love and Grace. Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his failure to believe. Instead, compassionately offered him proof of His resurrection. With an immense love towards him, Jesus met him at the point of his weakness. The main point that Jesus wanted to make to Thomas is that when Jesus ascended permanently into heaven, believers would come to the saving faith without the privilege of seeing the resurrected Lord. He wanted to strengthen Thomas’s faith,
How often do we fall short in our ability to trust in God in big and small things? Just like Jesus graciously responded to Thomas, so does He with us when we openly admit our weakness and allow for Christ to give us strength to trust in Him. I do not doubt that Thomas truly believed in Jesus Christ and the His Saving work on the cross. There are moments of weakness that we all face and thankfully, those moments do not define us. Instead Christ comes, sees our weak and frail moments and transforms them into something good. It is a true blessing when we experience Christ taking us just as we are and drawing us closer to Him.
Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.
It is difficult to believe something that someone else told us. We want to see everything with our own eyes. The most interesting about our human condition, though, is that God still works with us. Even Thomas, who had no reason to doubt the other disciples was given a personal visitation by Jesus. Jesus did not have to do that. The other disciples could have continued their work even with Thomas. But God does not want anyone to be left behind.