John 20:24 shows that Thomas is an honest doubter. He was asking for proof so that he could believe.
There are two kinds of doubters. The honest doubter says, “I want to believe, I just need some questions answered.” The dishonest doubter says, “I do not care what you show me, I will not believe.”
Thomas wants to believe. A few chapters earlier, in John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Doubt can come in many different forms; it can go forward in faith or backward in disbelief. Thomas asks how they will know the way. We can see that he wants to believe, he is honest enough to ask the questions.
However, if the tomb is empty, nothing else really matters. The Christian faith can stand up to the scrutiny of the greatest minds in history. There is a great scriptural answer to every question you could ask.
It is important to remember that the four gospels tell the same story but from different perspectives.
Mary and the other women came to anoint the body. They came to have some closure; they did not expect to find an empty tomb.
Jesus had told his disciples many times throughout his ministry that He was going to die. The disciples missed every single warning.
The angels have an interesting reaction when they see the disciples at the tomb. In all the gospel accounts we see that the angels were surprised that the disciples were sad. It looks as if the angels were expecting the disciples to show up ready to worship at the empty tomb. But they did not, the disciples doubted what Jesus had promised, they expected to find a body.
Thomas’ doubts have more to do with disappointment than unbelief. He thought Jesus would overthrow the Roman government. Then when Jesus was arrested, he ran away just like the other disciples did.
In John 20:24 we can see that Thomas is struggling, he was not with the disciples the first time Jesus appeared to them. He has heard the news that Jesus is alive. However, he wants to see it with his own eyes before he believes it.
Jesus meets him right where he is.
Jesus did not sit down with Thomas and answered all his questions. Jesus’ response to Thomas is to show him proof of the crucifixion and to validate the resurrection.
Two Lessons from Jesus and Thomas
- You must decide what you believe about the empty tomb
If the resurrection is true, you must respond. The foundation of Christianity is a historical event. Jesus lives!
Christianity did not begin when people believed something. It began when people saw the evidence for an empty tomb. The Cross of Christ is the message of the Bible.
The disciples were living proof of the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead. Before the resurrection they were cowards afraid of what the authorities might do to them, then they became bold preachers of the Gospel.
Almost every single one of the apostles were killed for their faith. None of them renounced their faith. They stood firm till the end.
Biblical belief is believing in Jesus and what He did on the cross.
- You must respond to the Gospel
Admit you are a sinner, believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again, and it counted for me, confess that I am going to surrender my life to follow Jesus.
Pastor Chris Williams
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