Tuesday, October 16, 2012

John 20:24-29

This morning, as I sat down to my study, I attempted to open my document that contains everything I’ve written so far this year on the Gospel of John - and it was gone! The entire file has vanished! Poof! Gone! I guess it was a good thing that Don subscribed to an online backup system just last week (they finished the complete backup of our computer just this past Sunday)! So, I imagine it’s there somewhere... Just a reminder that even though we lose everything we do, the Word of God does NOT fade away! He doesn’t need my help to accomplish His purposes! :)

This morning we are going to look at another flawed character of the New Testament. I think he probably ranks right up there with impulsive Peter and zealous Paul. His name has forever been linked to doubt: that’s right, doubting Thomas! And haven’t we all been just as defiant in our attitudes towards God at one time or another? Let’s see!

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.” 

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!” 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.” 

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29)

Jon Courson points out that, when Jesus first appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, Thomas missed the meeting! What conclusion can we draw about Thomas because he wasn’t in hiding behind locked doors with the others? Well, it’s possible that he was not afraid to be outside. In John 11:16, when Jesus announced he was heading to Jerusalem, Thomas boldly proposed, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” He was not a coward!

Maybe he was like “Lone Ranger” Christians, who think they can go it alone, and don’t need the fellowship of the church to worship God. Whatever the reason, Thomas posed a challenge to Jesus in declaring he would not believe unless he could also see and touch. So when Jesus appeared a week later, He spoke directly to Thomas’ doubts. In fact He challenges Thomas to “Stop doubting and believe.” It’s a choice!

Thomas made the choice - to worship! While Jesus commends his decision to believe after seeing, He nonetheless offers a mild rebuke when He tells Thomas that the ones who are truly blessed are those who believe BEFORE they see - that’s you and me! The world tells us, “Seeing is believing!” But Christ tells us, “Believing is seeing!” Believing is not a matter of having enough facts - although the evidence for Christ is overwhelming. Believing is an act of the will. It’s an act of obedience.

Perhaps you have not yet come to the place where you have committed yourself to Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. What is it that holds you back? You may be thinking, “Show me!” Jesus says, “Believe!” Just like Thomas, once you have made that decision to believe, you, too, will proclaim, “My Lord and my God!”

Tomorrow we will look at the implications of Thomas’ declaration. In the meantime, I’m going to try to track down the rest of this study... :)  

No comments:

Post a Comment