3 July 2015John 20:24-29
“Thomas answered to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (v. 28)
Psalm: Psalm 31:1-6
When Jesus died, his disciples were so distraught with grief cut deep. Deep grief can leave you sometimes just finding yourself staring off, not really connecting with reality at times. Maybe tears flow, sometimes they don't. Into the disciples' grief, rumours start to build that Jesus isn't dead anymore. Echos of hope…
For the disciples trying to hold onto this hope, when grief has burnt so deep into your heart, such news is simply unbelievable and for Thomas, he was hurting. The concept of Jesus being alive was too much to comprehend. His only response was to say he needed to see it with his own eyes (verse 25).
And then it happened. Jesus appeared and restored Thomas. There was no judgement, no condemnation, just an offer to touch his side and hands. Thomas was allowed to release his grief. And he simply said, "My Lord and my God."
Thomas believed in the resurrected Christ because he saw him. Can we blame his doubt? What does it mean therefore for someone to believe this story today when we can't see Jesus physically? How do we introduce someone to Jesus when the story is that he died?
The gospel (good news of Jesus) is exactly this, that Christ came, he lived, he died and he rose again. He came so that we too can have life (John 10:10). Now death has lost its sting. The job of the church is to testify to this. When we meet people like Thomas we need to remember that it isn't wrong to struggle with this story. It is simply too much for some people to get their heads around. But Jesus didn't condemn Thomas, he didn't judge him, he blessed him. Pray, be with them, and let Jesus shine out through you.
- Thomas is often criticised for his doubt. In what areas of your faith journey has doubt or disbelief been something that has challenged you?
- Jesus blessed Thomas. What does it mean to you to be blessed by someone?
- What can you learn from this story about grief?