The Reading: John 20:24-29
“My Lord and my God!” (v.28) RSV
Thomas was a doubter, but so are all of us. We all have many questions that lie unanswered. But faith does not depend on answered questions. It depends on sufficient evidence together with the internal verification of the Spirit. It is the word of God combined with the internal witness of the Spirit that gives assurance. Because of that we can live quite happily with doubts.
Thomas’ problem was that he allowed his doubts and his scepticism to dominate his faith. He could not and would not believe until his questions were answered. Well, God in his mercy acceded to his request. Living proof stood before Thomas in the person of the risen Christ. He was even invited to touch and see. Did Jesus then tell him to stop doubting? No. He told him not to be faithless. Faith is an act of obedience. There is no evidence that Thomas actually needed to touch Jesus’ body. It seems that the challenge to believe was sufficient.
The response of Thomas was perhaps more than that of any of the other disciples. He said, “My Lord and my God!” (v.28). Let this be our response too. The resurrection proves the uniqueness of Jesus. Surely God had been in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and now has risen fully vindicated and victorious. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
But Thomas had failed to believe based on the witness of others. He had to see for himself. Jesus firmly said that that should not be necessary. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (v.29). Let our belief be based upon the witness of the Apostles in scripture.
Thank you Lord for the lessons I can learn from Thomas. Keep me from presumptuous and arrogant unbelief. Grant me a humble and teachable spirit that will shout: “My Lord and my God!” Amen.
- What does Peter say about not seeing, and yet believing?
2. What does Hebrews teach about faith?