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.
Many will read this passage and automatically think that Thomas was living in sin and lacking faith. Often times this part of scripture is referred to as “doubting Thomas”. However, it is also important not to miss that when Jesus first appeared to His disciples, they only rejoiced after He showed them His hands and side. They didn’t immediately recognize who Jesus was or may have not believed who He was unless there was proof.
The lesson that we can learn from this passage is that our faith is constantly growing. The disciples faith was always being put to the test and there was never a period in which they were not still questioning what Jesus was talking about or doing throughout the course of His ministry. It is not until later that the disciples find the courage to start the church and go out and preach the Gospel.
As Christians today, we are given God’s word as a means to learn more about Him, Salvation and the Gospel. Our faith in Christ is what truly dictates our hearts to believe in what the Bible teaches us and to follow after Him. Yet, there are times in which we will go through periods of our faith being very strong and times in which our faith will be challenged and we forget the promises that God’s word has for us. If Thomas had doubts being a part of Jesus’s ministry, death and resurrection, how much more do we need to pursue God’s word and His truth for strength and guidance.
Do not allow for your faith to be marred by fear and doubt. The word of God that we have today is living, active and powerful. Just like the disciples had Jesus to lead and guide them, so we too have Jesus, His word and His Holy Spirit.
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.” (John 20:29 )
For some believers it is easy to have faith in the Lord. However, the logical mind can struggle at times with the notion that God often seems to not be present. This is why it is so important to share our experiences with others. I have personally witnessed God in my life and in other’s lives. It’s vital that these events are communication, just as John communicated through his gospel.
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. (John 20:31)
While I would challenge any non-believer to seek the Lord and see if He does not make himself known, I would also also challenge those that also believe to be record keepers for the Lord. Record and recall all the times the Lord has shown up in your life and make sure you share that with a world that lives in doubt and skepticism.