“And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ’Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” John 20:28–29
Sunday evening, on the day of the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples for the first time. Thomas was absent but the rest of the disciples had gathered together and shut the door of the house they were gathered in, for fear of the Jews, when suddenly Jesus was standing in the middle of the room.
“Peace be unto you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” Notice that Jesus’ first words are ones that are gauged to communicate complete acceptance. “Be at peace; have no fear. Nothing has changed between us. I’m still calling you to be a part of the work the Father has sent me into the world to accomplish.”
Friends, Jesus knew exactly how the disciples would respond to his betrayal, arrest. And crucifixion. Everything happened just how he said it would, and just as Jesus had accepted them knowing what they would do he accepts them still knowing what they’ve done. If we’ll accept Jesus he’s still in the business of accepting people today.
But Thomas was absent that day and he wasn’t willing to just believe what all the others were telling him. “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later John tells us that that Jesus again suddenly appeared to the disciples, once again in the midst of them even though the door was securely shut. On this occasion Jesus begins by turning to Thomas and holding out his hands and inviting him to touch and examine them and to put his hand into his side.
At this invitation Thomas realizes that Jesus is alive and that he knows exactly what has transpired between himself and the other disciples. Nothing more is required to convince him. In a burst he exclaims, “My Lord and my God!”
What will it take for you to believe? Most of us won’t ever see Jesus like Thomas and the other disciples did. God will come to us and have a genuine relationship with us, and in that relationship he’ll prove himself to us, but while the eyes of faith will clearly see his presence our physical eyes will not have yet beheld him.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Do you believe even though you’ve never laid eyes on Jesus? Jesus says you’re blessed. Because you’ve believed Jesus’ witnesses, the messengers he’s sent to you, you’re blessed. Don’t let anything take that blessing from you. Renew your faith in Jesus and witness for his salvation everyday.