Sermons

Summary: Our faith must be an active faith. It must come alive to bring others to Christ.

I FIND IT INTERESTING THAT THOMAS MISSED THE FIRST EASTER APPEARANCE OF JESUS. WHAT I FIND TO BE EVEN MORE INTRIGUING IS THE FACT THAT THE DISCIPLES ARE STILL HIDING BEHIND A LOCKED DOOR ONE WEEK FOLLOWING THEIR ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISNEN CHRIST.

I THINK THOMAS GETS A BUM RAP AS THE “LONE” DISCIPLE OF DOUBT. WHEN WE SPEAK OF THOMAS, WE USUALLY EMPHASIZE THAT HE IS “DOUBTING THOMAS” WHICH REALLY ISN’T FAIR. ALL THE REMAINING DISCIPLES DOUBTED.

JESUS NOT ONLY PHYSICALLY APPEARED TO THE DISCIPLES, SHOWED THEM THE SCARS OF HIS HANDS AND SIDE, BUT LITERALLY “BREATHED ON THEM” TO GIVE THEM THE HOLY SPIRIT.

YET, DEPSITE THEIR JOY OF PROCLAIMING “WE HAVE SEEN THE LORD,” AND ENJOYING FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS, HERE THEY ARE ONE WEEK LATER RIGHT BACK WHERE THEY STARTED AS VERSE 26, SAYS, “A WEEK LATER THE DISCIPLES WERE IN THE HOUSE AGAIN…THE DOORS WERE LOCKED.” WE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO LABEL THOMAS AS THE “DOUBTER.”

I WONDER IF THOMAS HAD HEARD THE VARIOUS ACCOUNTS OF THE RESURRECTION THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE PREVIOUS WEEK AND BECAME CONFUSED, IF NOT TAKEN BACK, THAT HIS FELLOW BRETHEREN WERE STILL BEHIND LOCKED DOORS.

ALMOST AS IF THOMAS WOULD SAY, “I THOUGHT YOU GUYS SAID YOU’VE SEEN JESUS RISEN FROM THE DEAD? NOW YOUR BACK TO HIDING AGAIN? I DON’T GET IT? IS JESUS RISEN OR NOT? YOU GUYS SURE AREN’T ACTING LIKE HE’S ALIVE. I’M NOT SURE I BELIEVE YOU!”

I THINK I WOULD BE SKEPTICAL TOO IF MY COLLEAGUES PROCLAIMED A GREAT REVELATION AND THEN TRIED TO CONVINCE ME OF IT, BUT TURNED AROUND JUST ONE WEEK LATER AND LIVED AS IF THEY NEVER HAD THE EXPERIENCE.

NO WONDER THOMAS SAID, “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.” THE DISCIPLES WERE PARTIALLY TO BLAME FOR THIS STATEMENT OF THOMAS.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR US IS THAT JESUS HEARD THOMAS’ CHALLENGE IN VERSE 25! THE EVIDENCE HE IS DEMANDING FROM CHRIST IS WHAT JESUS PROVIDES FOR THOMAS – TO SEE AND TO TOUCH HIS WOUNDS.

NOT ONLY CAN THOMAS SEE THAT JESUS IS ALIVE, BUT IN ADDITION HE CAN LITERALLY REACH OUT AND TOUCH THE MARK OF THE NAILS AND THE WOUND OF THE SPEAR.

JESUS SPEAKS TO THOMAS AND INVITES HIM TO DO JUST THAT…TOUCH. IN VERSE 27, “STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE.” IN THE LITERALL GREEK TEXT, JESUS IS LITERALLY SAYING, “DO NOT BECOME UNBELIEVING BUT BELIEVING!”

THOMAS IS BEING CHALLENGED TO CHANGE. THOMAS IS BEING PROMPTED BY JESUSTO BECOME LIKE THOSE, WHO UPON SEEING JESUS JUST A WEEK EARLIER, EMBRACE HIM WITH STELLAR FAITH.

UPON HIS TOUCH, HIS ENCOUNTER, AND HIS FAITH, THOMAS EXCLAIMS, “MY LORD AND MY GOD!” THIS IS NOT A STUTTERING DISCIPLE CLAMMERING FOR WORDS AS IF TOTALLY ASTONISHED.

THOMAS, OF ALL THE DISCIPLES, CONFESSES HIS HEARTFELT BELIEF IN JESUS. THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS DOUBTER OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS NOW UTTERS THE GREATEST CONFESSION OF THE LORD WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD! THOMAS’ FAITH COMES ALIVE. THOMAS’ FAITH BECOMES SINCERE AND IS REAL.

THOMAS CONFIRMS HIS FAITH IN HIS ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISEN LORD JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD. IT WAS THE SAME JUST A WEEK EARLIER FOR THE REMAINING DISCIPLES. FAITH AND UNDERSTANDING BEGAN ONLY AFTER JESUS MADE HIMSELF KNOWN PERSONALLY TO EACH OF THEM.

FOR MOST WHO HAVE ENCOUNTERED THE LIVING SAVIOR, ISN’T THIS EXACTLY THE SAME WAY FOR US? WE REMAINED SOLIDLY IN OUR OWN SKEPTICISM UNTIL THE LORD BROKE THROUGH THE LOCKED DOORS OF OUR HEARTS.

THE MIRACULOUS NEWS IN ALL OF THIS IS THAT GOD SEARCHES AND FINDS US EVEN WHEN WE DON’T HAVE ANY INTEREST IN BEING FOUND.

EVEN WHEN WE LOCK OURSELVES AWAY FROM THE WORLD AND THE CHURCH, JESUS BREAKS THROUGH THAT DOOR. EVEN WHEN WE TRY TO KEEP OUT THE GOOD NEWS, JESUS BREAKS THROUGH THAT DOOR.

THE IMMOVABLE STONE THAT BARRED THE TOMB COULDN’T RESTRAIN HIM. THE ARMED GUARDS FROM ROME HAD NO POWER TO KEEP HIM INSIDE THE GRAVE. HE HAD CONQUERED DEATH AND HE WAS GOING TO MAKE IT KNOWN TO HIS FRIENDS AND TO THE WORLD THAT HE WAS ALIVE FOR EVER MORE.

NO FLIMSY WOODEN DOOR COULD STOP HIM FROM COMING INTO THE DISCIPLES’ ROOM THAT DAY. WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW HIM THEY REJOICED. THEY CRIED OUT IN FAITH.

THE SAME EXPERIENCE OF THE RISEN SAVIOR AND THE CAUSE FOR REJOICING CAN BE FOR THE US AS WELL. THE LORD APPEARS BREATHING HIS SPIRIT INTO OUR HEARTS LITERALLY BLOWING AWAY SEEDS OF DOUBT AND MOUNTAINS OF UNBELIEF.

WE ALL NEED TO HAVE A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE LORD BEFORE WE CAN TRULY DECLARE, “MY LORD AND MY GOD!” WE NEED GOD TO BREAK INTO OUR LOCKED HEARTS AND TO GIVE US THAT ENCOUNTER THAT ONLY HIS SON JESUS CAN GIVE US.

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