Jesus Appears to Thomas
“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.” – John 20:27
Read: John 20:24-31
If you’ve ever driven behind a car with a Missouri license plate, you might have noticed the state’s slogan, “The Show-Me State.” There are several explanations of how the state might have gotten this nickname, but the most popular one seems to refer to a Missouri congressman who said “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”
Thomas would have something to say about this state’s slogan. He had missed out on Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples after His resurrection. They no doubt tried their best to convince him that Jesus was alive, but Thomas needed to see it for himself. He had a “show-me” attitude. “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.”
A week goes by. If I were Thomas, I would have gotten kind of sick of hearing their resurrection stories over and over again. A week is a long time to listen to excited people when you aren’t quite feeling the excitement.
But then Jesus appeared to them again, and this time Thomas was there! What must have run through Thomas’ mind? He probably wondered if Jesus was going to scold him for doubting. But Jesus didn’t. He simply invited Thomas to do exactly what Thomas had said he needed to do in order to believe. “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Stop doubting and believe – easier said than done two thousand years later! Don’t you sometimes wish that Jesus would appear before you in the flesh, finally causing your faith to become sight? We will each have that moment someday when we finally see Him. But in the meantime, we have His Word and His promises to hang on to when we struggle with doubt.
How gracious of God to give us such a vivid example in His Word of someone who doubted. We never have to worry that He will be angry or frustrated with us when we doubt. Thomas shows us that when we bring our doubts to Jesus, He gently responds, “Here I am. Stop doubting and believe.”
Questions to think about:
- What kinds of things cause you to doubt or question?
- Have you ever been honest with another Christian about questions or doubts you struggle with and not received the response you were hoping for? How did that feel?
What are some helpful ways you can respond when someone shares with you that they are struggling with doubts?