Summary: If you ever want to point someone to a passage of Scripture concerning conviction and confession, tonight’s passage is a good place. This passage involves the great conviction and confession of Thomas.
MAY 22PM Thomas’ Conviction and Confession
John 20: 24-31
If you ever want to point someone to a passage of Scripture concerning conviction and confession, tonight’s passage is a good place. This passage involves the great conviction and confession of Thomas.
READ 24-25. It looks like Thomas was from Missouri, the show-me state. From Thomas’ reaction, it looks like he was a little frustrated because Jesus had shown up when he wasn’t with the other disciples. That’s why I don’t want to miss church. The one time I’m not here would be the time Jesus showed up.
Thomas hadn’t been with the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. And Thomas, at this point, was a lot like many people today, he refused to believe that Jesus had actually risen from the dead.
The disciples testified and bore witness to the truth. The tense of the Greek word for “told him” literally means “kept on telling him. From the Greek text we can surmise Thomas was kind of stiff necked and obstinate in his unbelief. He even argued against their testimony. It looks like he was aggravated and frustrated, feeling disappointment and guilt.
This aggravation and guilt is seen in how he says, “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.”
What was it that frustrated Thomas so much and caused him to sense such intense guilt and react the way he did?
• Evidently Thomas had forsaken the Lord, and that was enough to frustrate any man’s spirit. Maybe that’s why Thomas wasn’t there the first time.
He probably felt guilty which is probably why he became critical of the body of believers. It was his own fault, but as human nature so often reacts, he blamed others through his aggravated spirit. He argued against the experience they had with the resurrected Lord.
It was 8 more days before the Lord ever appeared to Thomas. What a loss he experienced. But, then too, persistent doubt always delays the blessings. Also, guilt, frustration, disappointment, and exclusion often result in a denial of the facts or some sort of outburst.
READ 26. Before this, Thomas had a false picture of Jesus. He had always thought in terms of an earthly Messiah or Savior who would make things better upon this earth and in this life. He had become a follower of Jesus thinking that an earthly kingdom was to be set up and that he was to be a leader in that kingdom. He saw Jesus as the promised Messiah who was to be the Son of David, that is, to come from David’s roots. He refused to see beyond the human and physical things of this world. So in that light he could only see Jesus as the man who was nailed to the cross and had a spear thrust into His side and was now dead.
There are still many false pictures of Jesus in the world today. The false pictures lead to unbelief. Unfortunately, many today still only see Jesus as a great teacher, of prophet, a great man, or the great founder of a religion.
All of these beliefs, no matter how highly they esteem Jesus, are false beliefs because they see Jesus only as a man. They see Him as one of the greatest men who ever lived, but they still see Him only as a man.
I think people prefer to see Jesus only as a man because it brings Him down to their level. It makes Him less than Lord. It puts themselves on a higher plane more equal to Jesus. Those that do that are wrong in so many ways.
These people believe that man is not totally depraved, not wicked through and through. They believe that man is not so bad that Jesus had to sacrifice His life for them.
They believe that man can do what Jesus did, the best he can, and God will accept him.
They believe that man doesn’t have to follow Jesus in every little detail and teaching. Why? Because as man, they believe that Jesus wasn’t absolutely perfect.
They believe that Jesus was wrong in some things. Where?
This is how their thinking goes. They think that each person has to decide the best they can where Jesus was right and wrong. Then that person must do the best they can to follow Jesus where Jesus was right. They believe that it’s doing the best you can that God accepts.
This is dangerous thinking because this type of thinking allows a person to form God in his own mind and after his own likeness. A person can then make God as he wishes God to be. Then a person can do what he wishes and then say that it was allowed by God.