Summary: Jesus expects many things for his disciples, but mainly that they believe without seeing
There are many things in this passage that we can see Jesus expects for his followers from the things that he says in this passage.
“Peace to be with you”
It's a greeting, but it is also something that Jesus expects for his followers.
“I am sending you”
He expects us to go – where ever we are able, to the people who he doesn't yet have a friendship with
“Receive the Holy Spirit”
He expects us to live together with the Holy Spirit, so that we can discern Gods will in any situation.
“Forgive or not forgive”
He expects us to know enough about what is happening to be the gate keeper for heaven. Those we forgive are in, any that we don't forgive are not.
He expects us to believe in Him, in what He has done for us and especially in His resurrection.
This one applies to us, those who have believed without seeing, more than it does to the disciples that Jesus is talking to in the upper room. -
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Tell people in an unbelievable way that you have some treasure in the box. Find out who believes and who doesn't.
Get one of the non believers to come and take a look. - Then tell the others what he has seen.
Illustration – Belief
“The Easter story is nothing but a myth,” Tom’s high school teacher announced to his class a few days before Easter break. “Jesus not only didn’t rise from the grave,” he continued, “but there’s no God in heaven who would allow his son to be crucified in the first place.”
“Sir, I believe in God,” Tom protested. “And I believe in the resurrection.”
“Tom, you can believe what you wish to, of course,” the teacher said, “However, the real world excludes the possibility of miracles like the resurrection. The resurrection is a scientific impossibility. No one who believes in miracles can also respect science.”
Then the teacher proposed an experiment. Reaching into his refrigerator, he produced a raw egg and held it up. “I’m going to drop this egg on the floor,” he said. “Gravity will pull it toward the floor that the egg will most certainly break apart.” Looking at Tom with a challenge, he said, “Now tom, I want you to pray a prayer right now and ask your God to keep this egg from breaking when it hits the floor. If he can do that, then you’ll have proven your point, and I’ll have to admit that there is a God.”
After pondering the challenge for a moment, Tom slowly stood up to pray: “Dear Heavenly Father,” Tom prayed, “I pray that when my teacher drops the egg, it will break into a hundred pieces. And also, Lord, I pray that when the egg does break, my teacher will have a heart attack and die. Amen.”
After a unison gasp, the class sat in silent expectation. For a moment the teacher did nothing. At last he looked at Tom and then the egg. Without a word he carefully put the egg back into the refrigerator. “Class dismissed,” the teacher said, and then he sat down to clear his desk.
The teacher apparently believed in God’s existence more than he thought, or perhaps just doubted his non-existence enough. That teacher wasn’t willing to bet his life that God didn’t exist.
Thomas has had a bad press. There is just this one incident in the scriptures where he is shown to doubt, and as a result the phrase “Doubting Thomas” has entered our vocabulary.
The other disciples had also been doubtful, Peter and John you could say were even scornful.
Lk 24:11 But they did not believe d the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
Thomas is unlucky enough to have had his words recorded when in front of Jesus. So before we write Thomas off as some sort of archetypal sceptic lets take a look at what we know about him.
He's listed in the names of the 12 Apostles, by Matthew
Mt 10:2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Mt 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Mt 10:4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. c
… and Mark, and Luke. He is listed as one of the disciples present when Mattias is chosen to replace Judas in Acts chapter 1. He mainly features in John.
At the end of John we find Thomas going fishing with Peter, James and John, and Nathaniel, so its reasonable to assume that he too was a fisherman.