Have you ever doubted something you heard from a friend? Immediately after they tell you the latest headline, a fact, or an event that occurred you take your phone out and ask Google if it is true? I imagine a lot of us can relate to Thomas more than we would like to admit. See, Thomas wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus appeared to them after seeing Mary Magdalene by the empty tomb. So instead of witnessing the Resurrected Jesus for himself like the rest of the disciples, he hears it secondhand and responds by saying, “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.”
My first thought when reading this is why doesn’t Thomas believe them? Why isn’t he so excited about the possibility that Jesus is alive and rose from the grave? But I have to remember what Thomas just lived through. He knows that Jesus was crucified and buried. So after going through such a loss, I wouldn’t be so quick to get my hopes up either. I also realize the other disciples got to see Jesus when he appeared to them. They got to experience his presence. They saw him and know that he has risen. But Thomas didn’t get to experience that moment. 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.” I love that Jesus doesn’t ridicule or judge Thomas for his disbelief directly. Yes, he says blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. But he could’ve chosen not to reveal himself to Thomas the way he did. He didn’t have to make a special appearance for Thomas, but He does. He chooses to invite Thomas to believe. He meets Thomas in his doubt because he knows he wants to believe. And He uses this moment to remind us all of our unbelief and the purpose of these accounts. John goes on to say “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” So that we may believe. Just like Jesus invited Thomas to believe, he invites us to do the same. Believe that Christ is the Son of God and he triumphed over death! He is Risen!