John 20:19-31; 2 Chronicles 32; Psalm 88
There is a new service at sporting events where you are able to text your order to the concession stand and they will send you a text when your order is ready. You walk up to a special line, you get your stuff and you get back to your seat. No waiting. The ad they show in the ball park details the hazards of the poor guy who doesn’t use the service and has all kinds of problems. He misses an amazing rally and his girlfriend has become enamored with the single guy in the seat in front of her. The message is obvious. Use this service or the home team will rally and win the game and you will lose your girl.
I’ve heard people speculate about where Thomas was when Jesus came through the locked doors to reveal Himself to the Disciples. Most of the speculation is not kind to Thomas. Ten disciples, though, are cowering behind locked doors and Thomas is not with them. Perhaps he was out trying to find out if it was safe for the Disciples to leave the upper room. Perhaps none of the other disciples were willing to leave the safety of the room and procure food. It’s not like they had stocked a refrigerator to prepare for a long siege. They had to get food every day. Thomas was not afraid to die for his Lord, or so it seems because he offered to go and die with Jesus. (John 11:16) Then again, perhaps he was having a faith crisis and wasn’t where he was supposed to be. All we now is that “Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’” For this everyone calls him “Doubting Thomas.” Yep…even the people who demand signs from God for their prayers as they “place fleeces” out before God. Thomas wanted to see proof. The other disciples had faith though because they were cowering in a locked room and the Lord appeared to them and He showed them His nail scarred hands and side where the spear had pierced. Seems to me that Thomas got a bad rap.
Jesus did point out that those who believed because of the words of others without seeing were blessed which applies to us, I guess. This story isn’t included in the Bible just to make us feel good though. (Remember, there are lots of stories left out of the Bible.) There are times we go through when faith is tough. Sometimes it seems like others get confirmation of God’s love while we are out of the area. Sometimes it seems like God has forgotten us. If we stopped and thought about it, we would have no problem seeking His strength and guidance, but in our lack of faith, we don’t do that. Just like with Thomas, though, God finds ways to break through and reveal Himself to us. Oh ye (or should I say “me”) of little faith – take heart. God is still seeking ways to reveal Himself and show His love.