Between his resurrection and ascension, the Lord Jesus appeared on eleven occasions and was seen by over five hundred people. However, one of these appearances always seems to stir my heart more than any other.
Having been absent when Jesus appeared to the other disciples, Thomas stated that ‘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.’ Now, although reluctant to throw a stone of accusation in the direction of Thomas, I do believe that he should have known better! Thomas had witnessed Jesus’ miracles, observed his character and had heard him say ‘that to see me is to see God’. Yet sadly, when push came to shove, Thomas failed to activate his own faith when it was needed most.
So what moves me most about this story? One week later, undoubtedly knowing that Thomas was present, Jesus appeared to his disciples again. He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” There is no record that Thomas took Jesus up on his offer, only that he proclaimed ‘My Lord and my God!’ (John 20:28).
Isn’t it wonderful that, in the midst of his doubt, the grace of God was revealed to Thomas? In the same way, praise God that he remains faithful to us even when we struggle to place our faith in him.