“But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, ‘We saw the Master.’
But he said, ‘Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.’
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, ‘Peace to you.’
Then he focused his attention on Thomas. ‘Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.’
Thomas said, ‘My Master! My God!’
Jesus said, ‘So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.’
Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.” John 20:24-31 (MSG)
Have you ever faced a situation and it didn’t make sense until years later? Sometimes time brings understanding, but not always. When we face serious disappointment, our faith can waver. Disappointment can create doubt, while throwing faith right out the window.
After Jesus’ death, He appeared to a group of the disciples, showing His power over death. But during that time, Thomas, one of the disciples, was not present. He had just lost someone that he had committed his life to follow. When the other disciples said that they had seen Jesus, Thomas couldn’t even go there. He wasn’t going to let hope surge in his heart only to have it crushed again. He had seen Jesus die on the cross. Logically, there would be no way to undo that which had been done. He had probably seen this kind of enthusiasm from the other disciples before. So before he let them continue, he stopped them with his response. He didn’t want to hear about Jesus; he only wanted to see Him to believe.
When we read this account, we are usually quick to stamp him as “doubting Thomas.” But the reality is that he probably suffered severe dissappointment, discouragement, and confusion. He thought Jesus was going to be the Messiah who delivered them from government rule. But, he didn’t understand that Jesus’ way to save the world was different than He expected. His faith was shaken. Many times, we face situations that leave us disappointed and discouraged. We thought God was going to come through for us in a different way. You lost your job when you thought God was going to use it to provide for your family. Someone close to you was given a grim diagnosis. Faith can begin to waver on disappointments. We might even wonder, “Why is faith so hard?” The temptation can be to give up. Those moments require us to put faith into overdrive. Even if we can’t see how it will come together, by faith, we believe God’s promises.
Thomas wanted to see evidence of the nails in Jesus’ hands. And when Jesus saw Thomas, He confronted his request by showing Thomas the nail scars. Thomas was waiting for evidence, and sometimes we are waiting as well. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I waiting for the evidence of the miracle before I will believe God for it?” Faith is not easy. It requires us to trust God with our whole heart and whole life. But when faith takes over, God gives us eyes to see that which will be- not that which hasn’t been.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.