John 20:24-29

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

This passage recounts the famous story of "Doubting Thomas." Thomas, who wasn't present when Jesus first appeared to the disciples, struggles to believe their account of the resurrection. He demands tangible proof - to see and touch Jesus' wounds.

A week later, Jesus appears again when Thomas is present. With great patience and compassion, Jesus invites Thomas to do exactly what he said he needed to do to believe. "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side."

Thomas's response is immediate and profound. "My Lord and my God!" It's one of the clearest declarations of Jesus' divinity in the Gospels. Thomas moves from doubt to a deep, personal faith.

Jesus then delivers a gentle rebuke and a beatitude: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." This blessing extends to all future believers, including us, who believe without having physically seen the risen Christ.

This passage teaches us several important lessons about faith and doubt. First, we learn that doubt is not the opposite of faith, but can actually be a step towards deeper faith. Thomas's doubts led him to a powerful, personal encounter with Christ. This shows us that it's okay to question and seek answers in our faith journey.

Jesus meets us in our doubts. He doesn't rebuke Thomas for his skepticism but instead provides exactly what Thomas needs to believe. This demonstrates Christ's patience and understanding with our struggles to believe.

The passage also reveals that physical evidence isn't the only path to faith. While Jesus provides proof for Thomas, he pronounces a special blessing on those who believe without seeing. This encourages us in our faith today, as we believe without having physically seen the risen Christ.

Furthermore, we learn that true faith goes beyond just believing facts about Jesus to developing a personal relationship with him. Thomas doesn't just acknowledge that Jesus is alive; he declares him "My Lord and my God!" This shows the transformation from intellectual assent to personal devotion.

As we reflect on this passage, let's ask ourselves: How do I handle my doubts and questions about faith? Do I bring them to Jesus, expecting him to meet me there? Have I moved from intellectual belief to a personal relationship with Christ? How can my journey of faith, including my doubts, become a testimony to others?

May we, like Thomas, bring our doubts to Jesus. May we be open to his revelation in our lives. And may our faith journey lead us to declare with conviction, "My Lord and my God!"

God bless you.

More in this category: « John 20:19-23 John 20:30-31 »
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