“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.’ Thomas answered, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
John 20:27-28 (NIVUK)
Growing up in the church reading the Bible, did you ever choose a favourite disciple? Is there one of those men who worked alongside Jesus whom you understand better than the rest? I know some people who really admire the loyalty of Peter, while others approach ministry the way Philip did. But I want to talk to you about my favourite disciple—Thomas.
If you don’t know anything else about him, you probably know what he’s famous for—doubting. The Gospel of John paints the scene like this: “Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘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 later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 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.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” (John 20:24-29).
We’ve all had moments where we doubt. But what I love about this passage is how Christ responds to that doubting. He doesn’t turn away or push Thomas aside; instead, he returns a second time to make sure that Thomas has an opportunity to see him. Christ draws near, giving himself to his disciple—even allowing him to poke and prod his body almost like you would a little child.
That is who our God is—deeply committed to seeking us out, no matter where we are, no matter what our doubt—and bringing us back into communion with him. He meets us where we are so that we can continue to walk faithfully with him.
Mighty Father, it’s so human to doubt, to question and to falter in faith. Yet we know that you love us, sacrificed your Son, who, willingly, sought our salvation and redemption. Bless us, we pray, with the gift of memory, to remember what has been done for us so that we, too, can say: My Lord and my God! In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.