My Lord And My God
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)
‘All that goes around comes around’ – that’s alright for a general observation, but as a general rule, there is an exception to all rules and that holds true for Solomon’s musing. Noah’s flood was a one-off. It is very unlikely that the sun will stand still again, or that the walls of Jericho will fall down again at a blast of trumpets. And I think we can be fairly certain that there’ll only be one talking donkey in the history of the world (Joshua 10:12-14, Joshua 6:20, Numbers 22:28-30).
Fast forward in time to the first century and an upper room in Jerusalem where Thomas has missed the first appearance of Jesus after the resurrection and has put his foot down. He is not about to be fobbed off by the disciples’ adamant assurances that they have seen Jesus, seen his hands and side, talked with him and even seen him eat. Thomas won’t take their second-hand beliefs, and equally adamant, lays down his terms. “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.”
Back in the upper room in the following week Jesus graciously offers to meet his challenge to help him out of his self-made impasse. It’s a one-off that no one else in history has had offered to them. We do not have a record of whether Thomas took up the option. What we do have is his response: “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:19-28)
It is not possible for us to check out Jesus’ legitimacy by thrusting our hands in his side. Still, those who struggle with their faith are not dismissed, put at the back at the class or told to write 100 lines of ‘I will not challenge or doubt’. Solomon was right in one respect – there is one thing to which there is no exception, that ‘what has been done will be done again’, and this is that God in his grace will willingly help and strengthen our beliefs when we cry out ‘Lord I believe, help my unbelief’, and God’s Spirit will touch our spirits and confirm who we really are (Romans 8:16 MSG). So that we can say with Peter: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8-9).
Father, enable us to hear the voice of the Spirit bringing to us the reality of the ascended, glorified Jesus, that we too may join today with people of all races, nations and tongues who call out ‘My Lord and my God.’
Study by Hilary Buck
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
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