John 20:25New International Version (NIV)
25 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.”
Thomas takes on a bad rap in this portion of scripture. Could we all of had said the same thing? Yes, some had seen him from the disciples, Mary Magdalene, and the followers on the road to Emmaus, but not Thomas.
We forget Thomas’ words in John 11:16. Thomas says to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go too and die with Jesus.” Heading back to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead was going to get them all killed. Yet, he says, “Let’s go and die.”
Only a man with a deep devotion to a person or cause would ever make such a statement. Thomas was truly loyal, but he had doubt, and for him, only physical proof would satisfy his pessimistic view.
If you look deeper into what is there in scripture and read between the lines, you will find a man having deep love for Jesus. Remember, he gave up everything to follow him. In that love, you find a man paralyzed on the inside over Christ’s death.
I know it does not say this in Scripture, but for a moment Jesus walked through the doors in John 20:25 just for Thomas. What a moment it was. Jesus asks for Thomas directly. “Thomas, put your finger here and look at my hands. Put your hand in the would on my side. Do not be faithless anymore. Believe!”
What a moment! We never again hear of Thomas being pessimistic. He now had proof! Later we see Jesus saying that he believed because he had seen Jesus. Then the Lord gives a blessing to us, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
At times, we get pessimistic and encounter doubts needing proof that Jesus hears our prayers. It is in those moments, men, that we hold onto the blessing of not seeing. That is called faith.
Strength and Courage