Summary: Part 5 - Thomas and the Holy Spirit
40 Days with the Lord
Part 5 – Thomas and the Holy Spirit
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
First Baptist Church of Tawas City Michigan
Let us review where we began a few weeks ago.
It was Sunday evening, and Jesus had appeared to the disciples.
They thought they were seeing a ghost and couldn’t believe Jesus was alive.
When Jesus had left Mary Magdalene at the tomb, He had told her “Do not touch me, for I have not ascended yet to our Father in Heaven. Go and tell the others that I am going to our God and Father in heaven.”
Now He is telling them, “Look! I am flesh and bone, see the wounds in my hands and feet. Look at my side. Touch me!”
So we know by this time He has received His resurrected body.
To prove He was flesh and bone and not an apparition or ghost, Jesus asked for something to eat.
They brought Him fish and a honeycomb, and He ate in front of them.
This is where we left off.
John 24:20 – 25 Thomas and the Holy Spirit
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
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."
PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT & UNDERSTANDING
Thomas and the Holy Spirit
We see how Jesus showed Himself to the disciples this day.
He knew their fears, and their doubts.
And it wasn’t just Thomas who doubted, it was all of them.
Even John did not believe until he saw the empty tomb for himself.
We, like the disciples, have doubts in our lives and in our minds when it comes to Jesus.
With some of us, all we need to encourage us and remove our doubts is the smallest of signs.
For John it was simply seeing an empty tomb.
John didn’t need a “mountain top experience”, or even to see Jesus face to face.
When He saw the empty tomb, he remembered all that was said by Jesus, and He believed in Jesus’ words.
Some of the others needed a little more.
Even when they saw, they didn’t believe Jesus was flesh and bone.
For them on this Sunday evening, seeing was not believing.
They needed a little more for their faith to kick in.
And Jesus provided what they needed to believe what His word said.
They touched Him, and saw His wounds, and watched Him eat, and as verse 20 says in the King James Version, “THEN were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.”
Thomas on the other hand was not there when Jesus appeared that first time to them.
Why Thomas wasn’t with the others when they met that Sunday evening to worship isn’t clear, we’re not told.
But we do know that the others were gathered to worship together, and for some reason, Thomas wasn’t present.
And later, when the disciples told Thomas they had seen the Lord, Thomas simply replied,
"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."
Thomas, perhaps if you would have been there worshipping God with your brothers that Sunday Evening, you would have met with Jesus and saw for yourself.
Then you wouldn’t have to rely on the words of others.
Many do this today.
Try and have a life of faith on the words of others instead of searching and finding for themselves.
Jesus wants a personal relationship with you, not vicariously through someone else’s experiences with Him.
He wants you to experience Him.
We meet Thomas’ many times in our lives with people who refuse to believe Jesus is alive, yet do not make the effort to seek.
If you do not seek, you will not find.
You see, Thomas needed faith.
Perhaps this is why he wasn’t worshipping with the others that evening.
Sometimes when things don’t go the way we expect them to, we lose heart.
Perhaps after the crucifixion, Thomas felt like all was lost and gave up.