On the day of the resurrection when the two travelers from Emmaus were telling their story to the apostles and Jesus appeared to them Thomas was not with them. Now a week later when He appears again, Thomas is with them and Jesus is aware of his doubts from His earlier visit. Jesus first words were “Peace be with you.” But then He singles out Thomas, and demands that Thomas step forward. “Put your finger in my wound, see my hands, reach out and touch me. Do not doubt, believe,” Jesus demands of Thomas. And with those words, Thomas immediately recognizes Jesus, and says, “My Lord and My God.” And Jesus responds, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have come to believe.”
The beauty in this story for me is in Jesus’ love for Thomas – even in his doubt. Jesus’ compassion for Thomas, acknowledges that deep faith requires perseverance, it requires attention to both the head and the heart, and it takes time. There are people who do not need to see to believe. People who have heard the old, old stories and imprinted them on their hearts. As we grow older and navigate our way thru more and more of life’s circumstances, we tend to get a better long-term view of God’s plan and His love and faithfulness for us. It is why we see many older believers that have a firm grasp of the Truths in the Bible. They have lived and seen lived so many life experiences where faith was proven out that in their hearts, it is just a daily truth for them. God has supported and strengthened their faith over time and the fact that God is in control of this world is now a part of their lives and the foundation that they live their lives on every day.
When we doubt in our day to day life and our cynical nature holds us up waiting on God to show us a sign we would do well to remember Jesus words to Thomas ……Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
The story of Thomas is not about doubting. The story of Thomas is about a merciful and loving Jesus who will come to us where we are and give us what we need to believe. Accepting Jesus extends to us both Mercy and Grace. Mercy is not getting something we deserve and Grace is getting something we never deserved. Forgiveness of our sins is God’s Mercy provided in Jesus death and the promise of Life beyond this life in Heaven is God’s Grace provided in Jesus resurrection.