John 20:29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
We are on a journey from the resurrection of Jesus through the fifty days until Pentecost.
We have seen the women at the tomb on the morning of His resurrection. We have seen Peter and John in a foot race to confirm what the women had told them.
On that first Sunday evening, Jesus had met with the eleven. Thomas was missing on that evening. The bible says nothing more than Thomas was not with them. When the disciples told Thomas they had been with Jesus, he did not believe them. Thomas made the statement that has confirmed the meaning of his name. Doubter. Thomas said to believe “he would have to see the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” John 20:25 (TNKJ)
Doubt, fear and unbelief are all part of the human experience. Thomas is no different than most of us. We have doubt, fear and we often need proof before we can trust and know God’s will for the next step. All the disciples were fearful for their lives during the days after Christ’s crucifixion. Jesus appeared after the resurrection for their “proof” that He was who He said He was. John writes his gospel as a testimony of the works of Jesus, his miracles and the eyewitness accounts of the lives that He touched. The people of that day needed to see Jesus after His resurrection. He appeared to many during the 50 days before His ascension.
It is now eight days later. All of the disciples are gathered together probably in the upper room where they had the passover meal. Jesus appears without opening the door. Now Thomas what will you do? Jesus doesn’t rebuke him. Jesus just stretches out his hand for Thomas to touch. We are not told that Thomas touches Jesus in any way. Jesus greets them the same as before. “Peace to you!” “He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand her, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believe. And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and My God!’” John 20:26-28
Thomas believed but only because he had seen Jesus with his own eyes. Jesus wanted Thomas to believe without seeing. Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Jesus had extended blessings many times. The sermon on the mount is all blessings for those who hear. Luke 11:28 tells us, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly place in Christ.”
Hebrews 11:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Ephesians 2: 8-10 American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [a]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
I Peter 1:3-8
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various [c]trials, 7 so that the [d]proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which [e]is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
John 20: 30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name,”
For we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
The Christian walk is an adventure with Jesus. It is a daily lifelong journey of trust, believing in what we know of God’s character, His love and His sacrifice.
In the end, Thomas was completely sold out for Jesus. He was missionary in India where he was murdered by four soldiers spears for his faith. Thomas’ life was transformed by what he believed and trusted about his Lord and Savior.
May we have that same commitment to Jesus.
I Know Whom I have believed
Treading by faith not sight,