A Voice in the
"The other disciples therefore said to [Thomas], We have seen the Lord. So he said to them, Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not ever believe. And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace to you. Then He said to Thomas, Bring your finger here, and look at My hands; and bring your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!" (~vs25-28)
Like we observed several years ago in the portion, "Bring Your Finger Here" many people condemn Thomas for what appears to be unbelief. Indeed, Jesus invites Thomas to "not be unbelieving". He is often called, "-doubting- Thomas". But I don't see in this incident where Jesus 'chides' Thomas as He did the two on the road to Emmaus, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken." (Lk24:25) I dare say Thomas is likely like a lot of so-called computer 'nerds': analytical, thoughtful, purposeful, one to figure out and dwell on the cause/effect relationship of things.
Earlier, as Jesus is heading back near Jerusalem, to Bethany (a stone's throw from Jerusalem), where He will raise Lazarus from the dead, as the Jews have been seeking how to kill Jesus, it is Thomas who resolutely articulates, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." (Jn11:16) Thomas looks at things 'realistically'. No sugar-coating or rose glasses
Thomas had seen how Jesus had died. Those Roman soldier had worked Him over real good. Scripture tells us, "His appearance was disfigured more than any man.." (Is52:14) "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is mute, so He opens not His mouth." (53:7) Does this mean that He didn't even scream out in pain? If so, is that part of why they taunted, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?" (Mt26:68) ?? When He wouldn't utter a sound, hitting Him harder to try to elicite some indication that their punches were having an effect?
What is it about the male gender that seeks to beat each other up? Even the other morning as I went for an exercise walk around the neighborhood, these kids (perhaps around 7-8 yrs old?) were playing in this one yard, and the little boys were punching themselves in their own faces, having great 'fun' at it! As I came walking along past where they were, they came up to me, proudly displaying their activity to me. So when I asked them something like, "Are you trying to hurt yourselves?" they responded with gleeful satisfaction, "Yeaaaahhh!!"
But Thomas saw Jesus hanging on the cross. He saw the beat-up face, the ripped back, the stretching nail holes. He heard Jesus cry out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mk15:34) And after all the blood that was coming out of just about every part of Jesus' body, then the soldier pushed the spear into His side, and whatever blood was left came gushing out.
You -JUST- DON'T DO ALL -THAT- to a human body, and then claim the person is "alive"! It's just not possible! That is not 'reality'! The human body can only take -so- much, and then it's DEAD. And what they did to Jesus, which he had seen, far-exceeded all that. Jesus is alive? NO WAY!!! And you say He just 'appeared' out of thin air? What sort of hallucinogenic stuff have you-all been smoking, anyway?
In fact, the rest of them, the first time, thought they were hallucinating, too; thinking He was a ghost. And He had to convince them by eating some food, and inviting them to "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." (Lk24:39)
"Thomas, bring your finger here, and look at My hands; and bring your hand here, and put it into My side." (vs27) Investigate the proof, and see the evidence for yourself... and BELIEVE.
You see, right here, Jesus' words and actions are counter to most cults. Most cults lie. They recruit people to join them, but rarely do they tell 'all' their beliefs, until the person has joined and made the pledges to secrecy; or has been brainwashed sufficiently to where they are not likely to flee...only then are the beliefs fully explained. In some societies the cult doctrines are given incrementally, as a person binds themself to the organization with greater and greater blood-oath curses of fidelity. And most cults also initially lie about their beliefs, to entice the unwary who thinks they are joining something different than what they actually are.
But Jesus openly says to Thomas: You don't believe anybody can go through what I did, and now live? Come, Thomas, look. Bring your finger here and touch. Investigate. Understand the truth.
Did Thomas then go touch the scars? Somehow I really seriously doubt it! He burst out: "My Lord and my God!" (vs28) Same as Mary last month, "Rabboni!" My Master! Jesus has suddenly appeared in the room, and he -knew- Thomas' heart. First topic of conversation was the very things Thomas was churning around. This Person was addressing the very "thoughts and intents of [his] heart" (Heb4:12) There is only One who can do that! That is the very domain of God "who knows (and searches) the heart" (Ac15:8, 1Sam16:7, 1Ki8:39, Ps44:21, Jer17:10) Like the woman of Samaria, "He told me everything that I ever did. Is this not the Christ?" (4:29) It is the same basis by which people are saved when they hear the preaching of God's Word (not demonic babbling): "And thus the secrets of his heart become revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will do homage to God and proclaim that God is truly among you." (1Co14:25)
Thomas was looking for physical evidence, proof he could analyze, put under a microscope and sort out, look at DNA samples, blood types, enter the data into his computer and have a result spit out the other end. But Jesus gave evidence to his -HEART-.
Jesus -gave- him 'Faith'. Remember, if you have a correct translation, your Bible will say, "Faith -OF- Jesus Christ" (Rom3:22, Ga2:16, Php3:9) Salvation is "by grace through faith" (Eph2:8) Many people stop there, not understanding that it is a "gift of God". Or if they see the "gift" there, they think it is only the "salvation" that is a gift. People try to stir up faith, or conjure it up in some mystical experience. But even that FAITH by which we "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Ac16:31) COMES -FROM- Jesus Christ. It is -HIS- FAITH which He imparts to us. Thus, there is no reason to worry about having "enough" faith. If it is -His- faith, it -IS- "enough". This is what Jesus gave to Thomas.
Thomas confesses Jesus as his God; indicating that which had just happened in his heart. "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom10:10) Jesus gave Thomas His faith, and Thomas explodes with confession.
However, throughout the centuries, most people have not been privy to what Thomas saw. In fact, Jesus did not even appear to the Jews or the Romans who crucified Him. He appeared to "witnesses". (Ac3:15, 10:39,41, Lk24:48, 1Cor15:5-8) And Jesus says, "Blessed are those not seeing and yet believing" (vs29) Because, the very definition of "faith" is "..the certainty of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of THINGS NOT SEEN." (Heb11:1)
So, the obvious question: On what basis, then, do people believe into Jesus Christ? How can they know all these things that happened, so as to believe? If a person could not see Jesus crucified, and then raised again, what is their proof?
"..these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (vs31)
Do you see why the enemy of our souls has made it such a campaign to pervert the Scriptures with all the unfaithful translations and paraphrases? Because he doesn't want people to be saved. He wanted Jesus to "do homage" to him (Mt4:9) in his quest to be "like the Most High". (Is14:14) If he couldn't corrupt Jesus, at least he can work at keeping people from faith in Christ. Thus, if people don't know who Jesus is, and what He did, because they are reading a corrupt version, then they won't be saved, because it is -only- through Jesus that we get to the Father. (Jn14:6) There is "no other name" by which we are saved. (Ac4:12) That "name" is not the correct pronunciation and diction of "Jesus" vs "Yeshua" vs "Yahshua", etc...but it is the PERSON AND WORK that the name (however it is uttered, in whatever language) represents.
Why do we need to know of Jesus? Because His words, He being the "Word that is God" (Jn1:1), are the "words of Eternal Life". (6:68) That's why we have the Scriptures. That's why John wrote this. So that, as we learn of Him through the Scriptures, His Holy Spirit can grab the attention of our hearts in conviction (16:8), so that He can also be "-my- Lord and -my- God"...the "Lord [who] is -my- Shepherd..." (Ps23:1) -my- Rabboni (vs16), -my- Master (Mk10:51).
"So then faith (salvation) is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God." (Rom10:17)