I think Thomas gets a bum deal.
we are going to read about Thomas so let’s turn to John 20:19- 23
19 That Sunday evening[a] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
so you can see we have this awesome moment with Jesus. The resurrected Jesus – but Thomas wasn’t there –
hmmm. I wonder why this disciple wasn’t with his new-found family ?
Continue in John 20:24-29
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[a] was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Haven’t we all been here. First you miss out on this awesome time that everyone else is saying “OH MY WORD YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE” – BEST SERVICE EVER ! Then all those feelings of guilt and doubt in yourself come crashing in. Doubt in ourselves, and doubt then that Jesus is there.
Let’s think about this for Thomas. He saw his friend, teacher, Rabbi, Master beaten to a pulp, hung on a tree and die. He saw him die. He saw his lifeless, rip up body carefully and quickly put into a grave.
Maybe this hit Thomas more than the others.
I don’t think he was doubting in Jesus – or even that he was there
I think Thomas was a lovesick disciple – that was so grieved over the death of Jesus –
I think that Thomas wasn’t doubting Jesus, but he wanted, He NEEDED the revelation for himself.
He wanted desperately to believe that the one he loved, and believed IN, was alive. But he say the gruesome death. That would be hard for anyone.
In John 11 when Jesus was going to Lazarus – and they knew the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus – what was Thomas’s response ?
“Let’s us go also – that we may die with Him”
I think Thomas had a love for Jesus that was deeper than what we think. He was willing to die with him. In honesty – how many of us are really willing to go to the next city and die with a friend ?
Not much is written about him – but that he doubted or didn’t believe
But I think God is giving me a revelation about this and want to share with you –
If we look at how Thomas wanted to die with Jesus – don’t you think that when he saw him die – he was devastated ?
He wasn’t there when Jesus first appeared – why ?
I know that when my mom passed away, I wanted to just disappear. I wanted to sleep forever. Grief is like that. Is it possible that the grief Thomas felt, like we feel in tragedy, took him to that place ?
You know that place where you just can’t believe this happened? I know that I kept saying, and I still do “I just can’t believe my mom isn’t here”. So don’t you think that Thomas, who wanted to go and die with Jesus, was in a place of utter grief and disbelieve that what he say happen, happened ?
He was probably – in that place where you just want to pull the covers over your head and hide from life –
have you been there ?
things didn’t go the way you thought – someone gets sick, or dies ? you lose your job or friendship ?
and all of us sudden we become doubting – we can’t believe it happened.
But I Think Thomas wasn’t doubting that Jesus was alive –
I think it was from a place of such lovesick and passion for Jesus that when they told him – he was ‘Don’t you mess with me about this guys”
I saw the one i wanted to die with, hanging there –
I saw him breath his last breathe and be put in a grave
don’t you kid with me that he is alive – I am just coming to terms with His death.
I think his doubt was from a place of wanting to much to believe but his reality was stuck in the past.
What does he say?
v 25 – Unless I see in His hand the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails and put my hand into the side , I will not believe –
Isn’t that passion ?
He wasn’t doubting that any of it happened –
He wanted to see for himself
He needed the revelation of the resurrection for himself.
He couldn’t go off the testimony of others
He couldn’t base his life off the mere words of his friends testimony
We can’t live off someone else’s revelation or testimony. I cannot base my life in Christ off what you say He is – I need to have the ‘sight’ for myself. Does that make me unbelieving ? or doubting ? Or does that make me seeking ?
If we only accepted what others say about Jesus, we wouldn’t have our own revelation.
Even Paul tells us in Ephesians and other books, that it was revealed to him. He received a revelation of Christ, not by man, but by God.
Is it possible that this is what Thomas wanted ? His own revelation.
I think it encouraged him – enough that he wanted so desperately to see the very nail prints –
why the nail prints?
remember Thomas would have been taught and memorized the Prophets – everything Jesus taught was from the Torah and the Talmud
– what does Isa 49:16 say – See I have engraved you on the palm of my hand
I think Thomas had this verse in his mind –
i think the lovesick Thomas wanted to see the imprint of the nail engraved on the Hand of Jesus – because Thomas knew it was for him
The nails that were meant for all of us, the stakes driven into his hands – are the imprint that Thomas wanted to see.
in the Passion translation – it says: the Aramaic is “the blossom of nails”. You can imagine a wide nail head that when struck with a heavy mallet, ‘blossomed” over the sacred palm of our Lord Jesus. The wound of the nail had imprinted His entire palm. His wounds are like beautiful flowers to the lovers of God.
It wasn’t from doubt – it was from “I need to see the revelation myself to have my testimony of the Living Christ”
His cry of I won’t believe wasn’t of doubt – it was ” I want to so desperately see my print on HIs hand -”
I want to see what He did for me.
Isn’t this where we all are ? we want to believe, yet we want to see the proof of Him –
He proves himself testimony after testimony after testimony
John even ends His book – that Jesus did so many testimonies – he would need another book
So where is your testimony ? Do you have a revelation of Jesus.
Not second-hand knowledge, not from man, but from God.
are you still waiting to see His hands?