By Brooke Holt
“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 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 yet seen and yet have believed.’” (John 20:26–29)
On Easter Sunday in many churches, the pastor proclaims the best news ever: “He is risen!” Then the congregation responds, “He is risen indeed!” When Thomas first heard that Jesus was alive, he did not reply with such enthusiasm and faith. Instead, Thomas acquired the name “Doubting Thomas” because of his initial response. When the disciples shared the news that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, Thomas declared that unless he saw Jesus with his own eyes, saw the marks on his hands, and placed his hands in the wounds, he would not believe this resurrection. Thomas was the first Christian skeptic, and he unabashedly gave voice to his unbelief.
Just eight days later, Jesus met Thomas in that place of unbelief. The disciples were hiding behind locked doors, and Jesus entered the home despite the locked doors. Jesus revealed himself to Thomas and showed him all the marks on his resurrected body. Without hesitation, Thomas announced the end of his skepticism: “My Lord and my God!” (20:28). His proclamation was the first time anyone had addressed Jesus as “my God.” Jesus’s physical revelation changed everything for Thomas and the rest of the disciples. Finally, they began to understand that this was the Messiah, the Son of God, their Savior, and their way of living the resurrected life.
With this proclamation of faith, John invites his readers to comprehend the profound impact of Jesus’s resurrection on those who saw him. John also invites his readers to believe based on the written testimony. Not only are you to believe, but to be blessed by believing, despite not seeing Jesus with your own eyes (20:29).
What can we learn from Thomas? Jesus meets us right where we are, even when we are struggling with faith. Jesus understands our questions, doubts, and fears. He is ready to guide us in faith, just as he led Thomas that day.
Are you open to his revelation? Are you open to moving from disbelief to belief—to a life of surrender and proclamation of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done?
Thomas was radically changed that day. According to church tradition, Thomas became a great missionary, carrying the Gospel message to the world. He was even martyred for his faith. The truth and power of the resurrection can transform the greatest skeptic.
Are you doubting or believing? How does the Lord want to meet you today with all your questions and doubts? How does God’s Word transform you from skeptic to evangelist? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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