18.01.16 Jn. 20:24-29
THE DOUBTING THOMAS
24 But one of the Twelve, Thomas (called “Twin”), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!”
26 After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you!”
27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.”
28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said,
“Because you have seen Me,
you have believed.
Those who believe without seeing
“The doors were locked.” The question that is often missed is, “Why was the door locked?” From the time the Romans arrived in 63 B.C. until the so-called “First Revolt” in which the temple was destroyed there were thirteen revolts and many riots. Whenever a messianic pretender was captured by the Romans, he and his men were all crucified. While the disciples knew they did not belong to any revolutionary group, they also knew that since Jesus was just martyred, they could be next. Little wonder then, that in this entire discourse, Jesus mentioned three times “peace to you.”
“My Lord and my God!” This was a most profound statement for any Jew to make, since Jews had always been taught that God could not be a man, nor could a man be a god. To Jews this did, and continues, to violate the first two commandments concerning idols and gods (Ex. 20:3-4). However, Thomas realized Deity had truly come to earth. This phrase has been memorialized by the “doubting Thomas,” but in fact, all the disciples were having serious second thoughts at this time. Throughout the centuries, he has been criticized for his lack of faith. However, since he did lack faith but was bold enough to request evidence, we benefit from that discourse. While he is seldom complimented for his expressed honesty, he may not have been the skeptic or doubter that has been his label, but rather, one with an inquisitive mind, an analytical thinker, one who today might be considered a careful critic who became a dynamic apostle.
Jesus appeared to many people, other than those recorded in the gospels. The Apostle Paul reveals that Jesus met with more than five hundred people, and again with the twelve disciples.
5b He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me.
1 Corinthians 15:5b-8
. A brief description of the lives of the apostles in found in Appendix 27.