About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Jesus Appears To Thomas  (ch. 20:24-30)

 

In verse 34 we see Thomas mentioned.  He was not with the rest of the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them.  Note his alternate name was Didymus, which means "twin."

 

Note also that John, writing about 60 years later from this event still called the "the Twelve" the Twelve, even though there were only eleven at this point in time.  Judas could no longer be counted among the twelve apostles.

 

In verse 25 we see Thomas expressing great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus once the others told them that they had seen the risen Lord.  Thomas has thus become known as "doubting Thomas" ever since.  I personally think that designation is really unwarranted.  I think most of the other disciples would have had a hard time believing that Jesus was alive as well.  It just so happened that it was Thomas who wasn't there when Jesus appeared to them.        

 

A whole week passed by before Jesus

re-appeared to these men as seen in
this section of John. 
Why Jesus waited seven full days is not known. 

 

One thing that we should know is that when Jesus first rose from the dead, Mary was the first to see Him.  She gave Him a big hug but Jesus told her not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father.  Here we will see that Thomas will touch Jesus.  This should tell us that by this time Jesus had ascended to the Father.  This means that He was no longer dwelling on earth but simply appearing at times from Heaven.

 

Verse 26 states that the doors were locked.  Jesus just appeared before the disciples.  He did not knock on the doors to be let in.  He just appeared out of thin air.  This tells me that indeed he was now living in Heaven and not on earth.   

 

Jesus knew what Thomas told the others and after saying "Peace be with you," He tells Thomas to put his hands into the nail scars and the sword scar.  Jesus didnít just say, "Look and see."  He said, as Thomas wanted, "Touch my hands and my side."  In other words, "It's really me Thomas."                 

 

What we see here in verse 27 is what Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12, would call a gift of knowledge.  This gift of knowledge is supernatural knowledge that is beyond the ability for humans to know.  The fact is that Jesus was not in the presence of Thomas when he told the others that he had to touch the nail prints in Jesus' hands.  Still, Jesus knew what Thomas had said

 

If indeed Jesus was in His resurrected glorified body as most think He was, means that He still had the scars from His crucifixion.  In my thinking, Jesus will always have those scars for us to see through all of eternity.  If you read Revelation 5 you will see there that Jesus is portrayed as a lamb that has been slain.  I suggest that means Jesus is portrayed as the slain One, with His scars throughout eternity.   

 

After Thomas touches Jesus, in verse 28, he exclaims, "My Lord and my God."  All doubts were gone.  Thomas says something very important here that Jesus does not deny.  He calls Jesus Lord, but most of all, he calls Him God.  This is one of those few Scriptures that we actually see Jesus described as God, which He does not deny.  Understanding that Jesus is God is fundamental to Christian thinking.

 

The words that Thomas spoke here should be spoken by every true Christian.  From the heart, we should be able to acknowledge that Jesus is our Lord, meaning, we have handed our lives over to Him to do as He wishes.  We should also confess from our hearts that Jesus is in fact God, and most of all, "our God," and as God, we obey Him.  

 

In verse 29 Jesus acknowledges Thomasí new found faith, but told him that those who have not seen yet still believe are very blessed.  This would include us who given our lives to Jesus.  We have not seen the risen Lord with our physical eyes as Thomas did, but we do believe, and we are very blessed as a result. Remember, the word "believe" here, and throughout the New Testament means "trust."  It is not merely mental agreement to the fact that Jesus is both Lord and God.  It is trusting all of who we are with Jesus as our Lord and God.  

 

John closes this chapter in verses 30 and 31 by telling his readers that Jesus did many other miraculous things that he has not written about.  What he did write he wrote so that we all would believe, or trust, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and once believing will find life in His name.   This life is a new life.   We are born again as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3.  Becoming a Christian is more than simply accepting the truth of Scripture concerning who Jesus is, as so many just seem to do today.  It is in fact giving your life to Jesus and in return He gives Himself to you in the form of the Holy Spirit coming to live within you.  When the Holy Spirit comes to reside within you, it is at this point you are born again.  At this point things become new to you.  As your physical birth brings great changes to your life, so you're spiritual birth brings great changes as well

 

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