Summary: Thomas found his faith when he confronted his doubts.
5 This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
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."
26 A 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!"
27 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."
28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
29 Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the
Now and then we here some pessimistic skeptic declare that he or she could believe in God if the Lord would only send a SIGN.
Frederick Buechner, novelist and sometime preacher, has posed the question, “why doesn’t God send us a sign to dispel all our doubts, such as a message in the sky, written by the rearrangement of the universe, with suns and moons to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”, so that the night sky would read, “I Am God! I Really Do Exist!!!!”
Woody Allen, the well-known comedian, has said that he would believe in God if God would send him a sign – such as making a large deposit in a Bank Account under the name, “Woody Allen.”
There is nothing new about this desire to have a sign from God.
We want confirmation for the things we believe.
Jesus recognized this and said in the fourth chapter of John, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” (John 4:48)
It is this type of thinking we see in Thomas in our New Testament lesson.
Historians and biblical scholars have not been kind to Thomas. In fact, they have traditionally been very severe in their treatment of this member of the twelve Disciples of Christ.
And they have good reason to be harsh toward him. For like Frederick Buechner, Woody Allen and so many others, Thomas demanded a sign. He wanted proof that Jesus was risen from the dead.
Unlike some of the other disciples and followers of Christ, Thomas was not around on Easter morning to see the empty tomb, or to speak to a radiant angel, or to recognize the return of his teacher from the dead.
When those who had seen the evidence told Thomas that Christ was alive again, there is not a hint of saintly wonder and acceptance of the miracle. Instead there is the human response of the skeptic: “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my fingers on those scars, and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
We can almost see Thomas shifting his eyes and folding his arms and raising his eyebrows and saying, “Peter, how gullible can you be? Peter, you poor man, you are in denial. Jesus is dead. We saw it ourselves and nothing can change that!”