John 20:24-31 New King James Version (NKJV)
Seeing and Believing
24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “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 believe.”
26 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!”
27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
That You May Believe
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;
31 but 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.
Do you ever have doubts? t bout the things of God?
--John 20 is one of the greatest helps toward faith!
--It is about Thomas, Jesus' Apostle, but a doubter.
--Yet Thomas defeats them, with the greatest faith!
I sometimes meet doubters. My heart reaches to them.
--God loves them also. We meet them in the Bible.
--In fact, we all start out as doubters, don't we?
--We have to be taught, as little children to trust.
--To trust the truth and love of our families, teachers, and all who serve us - to discern the phonies.
When it comes to religious faith, there is none like unto that God has given us in Jesus, and His Word.
--No matter where or how you examine or compare this life-transforming Gospel of Christ, it works best!
--Where else can you find 4 faith that's a win-win?
--A Savior Who invites us to give Him our life, that we cannot keep or control; in exchange for His life in us, that we can never lose, and never ends!
Jesus is God. The Savior Who defeats any doubts.
--As He fortifies our faith, as He forgives our sin.
--Bestows eternal life, as a gift, to all who come.
--Gives us the power of His Holy Spirit, to guide.
--Grants His presence with us always. Loves us.
--Has joy and peace! Why then should anyone doubt?
Let's not be too hard on a doubter. Jesus wasn't.
--You recall a father who brought his very ill son, to Jesus, asking of Him, "Can You do anything...?"
--Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23).
--The father "cried with tears, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief" (v 24). Had faith but with doubts.
--And, you and I can have honest doubts, at times.
--My prayer is I may be some assistance to help every doubter to become a strong and stedfast believer.
--The man's faith grew so the son healed; both saved.
--A little faith God can use to defeat many doubts!
--We are the winners, when we trust the Lord!
John 20 gives the account of Jesus' resurrection, as He arose from the tomb, and seen alive by many.
--Jesus appeared that Easter night to those who met.
--They were at evening worship, "Jesus came, stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be with you'" (v 19).
--"He showed them His hands and side," - the scars! --"The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord."
Thomas, one of the Twelve Apostles, was absent.
--"Thomas .. was not with them when Jesus came" (v 24).
--He missed the blessing of seeing the Risen Lord.
--The other disciples said to him, "We have seen the the Lord!" How wonderful, to see Jesus alive!
--Thomas replied, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe" (v 25). He doubts the word of his friends.
Thomas has some strong doubts, doesn't he. Some do.
--What about our honest doubt? Not easy to change.
--The ideas we grew up with, or taught us, remain.
--Even though Jesus arose from the dead, as He said, some folks find it hard to believe. Keep praying.
Here is Thomas, Jesus was so patient with him... us.
--Thomas was with Jesus for 31 years, now in doubt.
--Heard Jesus' messages and prayers. Saw miracles.
--The Gospels record several of his commendable acts.
--In John 11, Thomas was willing to suffer with Jesus in Jerusalem, "Let us go that we may die with Him."
--We see his faith. A good man; needs faith to grow.
--He said to Jesus in John 14, when Jesus spoke of His departure, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" (v 5).
Jesus kindly replied, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
--Jesus is "the way" to forgiveness, heaven, life!
After all these advantages like Thomas, some do doubt.
--Doubt is not all bad. It helps us seek real facts.
--To find proofs of faith, to give strong assurance.
--To strengthen one when our faith is stressed, weak.
--To get in the Word, and with God's people, to grow.
Good for Thomas, the very next Sunday, he was there!
--In worship. In song and prayer. In the blessing.
--I don't think he wanted; to miss out on anything.
--But likely Thomas was still harboring some doubts.
--He was doing the right thing, God wants us to do.
--God says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some" (Heb. 10:2 ).
--Worship is one way we grow in Spirit; where doubts are defeated. Another, is to study the Word.
Again "Jesus came, the doors being shut and stood in the midst, and said, Peace to you!" To all them.
--"Then He said to Thomas (Jesus knew what Thomas had said, so went at once to him), "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing" (John 20,27). To doubt no more!
The Bible doesn't say Thomas ever reached to touch.
--I do not believe he did or even needed to do so.
--He saw that Jesus knows all things - what we say or what we even think - and Thomas saw Jesus, alive!
The doubt of Thomas, I think, was honest doubt.
--God will, in some way, will reveal Himself to such.
Let's listen and look what Thomas said, "my Lord and my God" (v 28). A magnificent confession, isn't it?
--He came from honest doubt to faith in Jesus as God!
--The Scripture is clear. Jesus addressed as God!
--By Thomas, completely satisfied now in his facts.
--That is, that Jesus is Lord, Messiah, and Savior.
--And Jesus is indeed God, one of the Holy Trinity.
Thomas, notice, is the first to title Jesus as "God".
—Like Peter earlier, his confession makes amends for his doubts of the Lord's resurrection.
--So my friend, there is forgiveness and resurrection.
--For all who humbly come from doubting, to believing.
From Jesus' resurrection henceforth, His disciples all gave Jesus the deserved honor, Who He is, God indeed.
--It gave them, and you and me, the fullest proofs.
--It is supremely comforting, that believers arise!
"My Lord, and my God!" From doubter, to worshipper.
--Jesus accepts Thomas' acclaim, as God, for He is.
--Also, I'm glad Thomas doubted, so we don't have to.
We take the word of parents, teachers, those to trust.
--Why not trust the Word of a holy, risen God?
Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). I like that.
--I've not seen Jesus (I felt Him); but I believe!
--My dear friend, this is the Savior we can believe!
--Who loves us. Came and went to a cross, for us.
--And as promised, arose! To give eternal life to us.
--No other did as Jesus! Heaven is by believing Him!
Let me see if I can illustrate God's win-win way.
--First, let's say you choose Jesus as your Savior.
--We make a wise, winning decision, eternal with God.
--Our earthly life is better. Sweeter. Happier.
--In the end, we are rewarded with heaven - no punishment, sickness, sorrow, sin, separation - all joy!
--You, I, and others, have made the right decision.
Or, just suppose, at worst, we have been deceived and there is no God, or salvation, or heaven. God forbid!
--Not so, but even if it is, we've lost nothing!
--Our life here has been the richer, and much better.
Ah, secondly, suppose we do not choose Jesus' ways we find life a lot harder, unhappier; the gospel, true.
--It is all just as the Bible and God has said.
--But we've doubted. We miss the joys of heaven!
--My friend, we have not gained - in fact we've lost!
This is God's win-win way, anyway you examine it.
--I had a "churchianity," once. Now it is Jesus!
--Churches are fine and good. But they don't save.
--When I trusted Jesus, I got Christianity! He saves.
--Trusting Jesus will make a difference for you, too!
--To talk to Him. Walk with Him. Rejoice in Him.
--Knowing Him is heaven down here, and hereafter!
--When I surrendered all to Him, God came in, alive!
Why not now? Believe. Receive. Defeat your doubts.
--Jesus, the winning way!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 860