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
Last week we looked at the joy felt by the disciples when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them in the locked room. They were all there except Thomas. We can only imagine the disappointment that Thomas must have felt when he heard that Jesus had appeared to everyone except him. How he must have bitterly regretted not being there. This disappointment was so strong that it led him to say I will not believe until I see him for myself (v25). Thomas was not prepared to take anyone else’s word for it.
If we are honest, we often behave like Thomas. How often have we heard Jesus proclaimed but we cannot be sure because we have not experienced him for ourselves? We are jealous of the experience of others who seem so sure of Jesus’ presence. We go so far as to say, ‘If only I could hear his voice, feel his presence in the way that others do’.
However, what we can be sure of is that Jesus will meet us where we are. Jesus appeared to Thomas and offered to let him feel his wounds (v27) – and Thomas believed! Jesus said, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’.
Jesus is saying to us that we do not have to see him to believe. In James 4 v8 it says that if we draw near to God he will draw near to us and Jeremiah 29 v13 says ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’. So, here we have the answer to our longings. Seek God with our whole being and continually do our best to draw near to him. He will answer our heart’s cry.