The case of Thomas, who was absent at the onset of the appearance of the Risen Christ to His disciples, is typical. How many times we have we said in light of a seemingly unlikely situation, “I’ve got to see it to believe it”? How many times have we questioned or doubted God?
Thomas simply asked for evidence—evidence that the other disciples had already received.
Despite the fact that we often refer to him as “Doubting Thomas,” Thomas was not a skeptic who was isolated and disadvantaged. In other moments he was well known for his enthusiasm—a person who dared, searched, investigated, and inquired. Thus, while it is true that Thomas didn’t believe easily, he was also not of bad faith, but was someone who was careful, outspoken, genuine, solid, honest, and true.
This is why when Thomas questions, God delivers him fully. You see, Jesus knew what Thomas wanted, but even more importantly, He also knew what Thomas needed. Jesus knew that if Thomas would actually see Him and touch His wounds, Thomas would believe.
Thomas’s good unbelief made Christ come to him. Christ offered Himself to Thomas for his sincerity—not in rebuke.
In asking for the truth, Thomas had direct contact with it. Jesus came back to meet him, just as He will meet every one of us.
God will give us what we need to believe, too. Not by showing up in His resurrected body, but by lifting us from spiritual death to spiritual life. That is what the unbelieving heart needs and that is what God can deliver. We encounter Jesus not only in the testimonies of others (whether recorded in the Bible or shared elsewhere), but also in our own lives as we seek to worship and serve God in our world.
Perhaps what is most amazing about this passage, though, is that it reveals Jesus isn’t simply thinking about Thomas at this moment. Jesus is thinking of you and me: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Children’s Message for April 18th, 2021 will be livestreamed as part of Hope Valley Baptist’s Worship Service for April 18, 2021 on the HVBC YouTube Channel and the HVBC website. The livestream will begin at 10:50am. You will also be able to view a recording of the livestream after the conclusion of the service on the church’s YouTube Channel or website.