Today’s Reading: John 20:24-25 (NIV)
24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 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 it.”
I really like Thomas. His statement gained him the nickname “Doubting Thomas.” I don’t really think Thomas was a doubter at heart. I think Thomas was a realist. He reminds me a little of Lee Strobel, a man who refused to settle for anything less than the Truth. Would you want to believe something that is less than true? I wouldn’t. If I’m going to believe it, I need to know in my heart that this is as real as it gets - not just some human interest story with a great ending. No, there has to be more to this story. Thomas knew it; Lee Strobel knows it, and I believe it too.
The other disciples didn’t want to believe Mary at first, when she came running back frantically from the tomb. They thought she was seriously grieving and very confused over finding the empty grave. When Jesus appeared to them later that evening in the upper room, it was almost too much to comprehend! To see their Lord again, risen and whole, alive and well, was more than they could have hoped for. Yes, Jesus told them so, but the reality of seeing it first hand must have been completely and totally awesome!
Don’t you wonder where Thomas was that night? I think Thomas was a man of great courage. Everyone else was held up in that room, fearful to go out into the city. But not Thomas – he was somewhere else, probably taking a walk and grieving alone. Maybe he was doing his own little fact-finding mission. Thomas wasn’t afraid to break away from the group, to check things out for himself. He needed time away to sort through the events of the last week. No wonder Thomas responded the way he did, when the disciples caught up to him later.
If you have ever been an eyewitness to an automobile accident, then you know just how important your testimony can be to people who were involved. Eyewitness testimony is critical to the outcome of a jury trial, to better understanding the truth of the situation, and in resolving unanswered questions. We have a unique opportunity to see and understand the events of our Savior’s crucifixion and resurrection through the eyes of the tenacious twelve – the disciples of Jesus Christ. They walked with Him for three years, and were first-hand witnesses to every miracle Jesus performed. They watched Him die and saw Him fully resurrected. An eyewitness account will better help us understand the Truth.
When I get to heaven, I’m going to meet Thomas Didymus in person and shake his hand.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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