“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’ Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
- John 20:24-29
The fearful disciples have seen the Lord, been empowered by the Holy Spirit, and have shared the good news with Thomas. There is no doubt as to how he earned the nickname “Doubting Thomas” as we read his response today. Thomas is not just fearful, but he is skeptical of this story of Jesus’ resurrection. While we may be quick to condemn Thomas, remember the response of the disciples to Mary’s profession about Jesus. They, too, were skeptical until Jesus entered their room and showed them his hands and his side.
Once again, Jesus entered the room, passing right through the locked doors. There, he would have an encounter with this skeptical Thomas. Jesus brings his message of peace, a message that would transform the fear, doubt, and dismay of Thomas into a great testimony. Jesus invited Thomas to put his finger in the mark of the nails, to place his hand in his side, and to see the wounds of Jesus that he might believe.
Skepticism was replaced by faith, and Thomas was now ready to also declare this great news about his Lord and His God. Jesus provided a gentle rebuke about having to see to believe and how those who did not see but would still believe would be blessed. Jesus loved Thomas. He wanted Thomas to have everything he needed for the assurance of his faith. So, Jesus came to Thomas, allowed him to touch his wounds, and then called him to faith.
Jesus had compassion for the doubts of Thomas, and he has compassion for us in our doubts, fear, and despair. Like Thomas, we are invited to express those feelings to the Lord and to ask him to meet us in those places, to reveal himself, and to draw us to greater faith. Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7-8).Reflection:
How do you need the Lord to minister to you today? Do you have doubts that you would like to bring before him? Jesus longs to reveal himself to you today. May you have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to receive.
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