Jesus had risen from the dead He waited forty days before
ascending into heaven. During this time He appeared
to His disciples on several occasions. John records
an early occasion where Thomas had not been present
with the other disciples when Jesus had come to them;
he had not yet seen the risen Christ and was unconvinced:
Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not
with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.”
chapter 20, verses 24-25).
when we think Thomas had been with Jesus long enough
to have seen many great miracles including people being
raised from the dead. And what about all the amazing
words he had heard from the mouth of his Teacher? Why
should he be such a ‘doubting Thomas’? Surely, we would
have been no different. Thomas had seen all his hopes
smashed when he saw his Master die at the hands of men---die,
to most outward appearances, just as other men had died;
His body, battered, bloody, lifeless, waxen, cold and
stiff was placed in a tomb---in many respects, just
as other men.
Jesus had told them what would happen to Him, they had
not really understood it. But, that was God’s way, He
would make certain that all that the Son of Man had
said to them would, at the very right moment, come rushing
back into their minds with immense power, clarity and
Thomas that time had now come:
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.”
chapter 20, verses 26-27).
could doubt no longer:
said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
short response from Thomas is very significant. Thomas
was a God-fearing Jew who undoubtedly knew the Old Testament
Scriptures very well. He knew there could only be one
God. He knew Israel had the one true God---there could
be no other:
O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD----
chapter 6, verse 4).
had even heard his Master’s thoughts on this subject.
Jesus had been asked which was the most important commandment:
most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear,
O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the
Lord your God-----”
chapter 12, verse 29-30).
was entirely in agreement with what Almighty God had
said to Moses. Thomas had read it in the sacred Scriptures
and heard it from the lips of his dear Teacher---‘the
Lord our God, the Lord is one’. But, in an instant,
his world seems turned upside down; in an instant the
grace of God reveals who his beloved Teacher, his dear
Master, really is; as truly staggering as it must have
seemed, Thomas realizes, in an instant, that he is touching
the wounds of One who is far more than a resurrected
Teacher or even a Prophet. Thomas, no doubt, had believed
on Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. But had he understood
the full significance of what that had meant?---that
Israel’s flesh and blood Messiah was also their one
true God! And that same Messiah, who had always claimed
there is only one God and ‘the Lord is one’, now fully
accepted Thomas’ worshipful exclamation that He, the
risen Messiah, was that one God.
see Thomas touching the wounds of the Mighty One of
Jacob; the Holy One of Israel; the great I AM; the One
who is both Lord and God, and his doubt immediately
evaporates. The Scripture does not say that Thomas actually
touched his Lord’s wounded hands and side, but who could
have resisted what seems almost a set of gentle commands,
‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your
hand and put it into my side.’ I can picture Thomas,
lost in wonder and amazement, doing exactly as Jesus
asked. Thomas’ will to resist would have been completely
swallowed up in awestruck adoration.
could a mere man confronted by such a sight hold back
from falling on his knees and crying out---‘My Lord
and my God!’? Thomas realized when he said those words
that the One to whom he addressed them was no other
than the God of the Old Testament---not a new God, not
a different God, not even a lesser God; any of these
options would be complete heresy, a blasphemy. Thomas
now, seeing clearly, fully believed in the One who stood
before him, the One who had died for him---Thomas now
knew his Saviour God.
Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have
believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet
chapter 20, verse 29).
though it is good to study and to learn as much as we
are able concerning the things of God, some are not
in such a privileged position, and so, blessed are all
who in simple sincere faith can look to Jesus and cry
out, ‘My Lord and my God!’ They will, indeed, be saved
to the uttermost.
sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
great Thou art! How great Thou art!
sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee,
great Thou art! How great Thou art!
translated from the Russian by Stuart K. Hine)