24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then 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.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.(Jn 20:24–31).
Jesus here shows his gentleness and grace to doubting Thomas, the way of Jesus is in contrast to the way we often deal with unbelief or lack of faith. We often condemn where Jesus models bringing people who doubt to a point of belief.
Thomas not believing the other Apostles is in one sense quite understandable if we put ourselves in Thomas shoes we will realise that it is very difficult to believe that a dead man is now alive. Jesus was crucified the most violent execution known to men, Thomas probably regarded the other disciples as believing in the resurrection as wishful thinking. It just seemed so impossible, Yes Thomas should have believed but we can understand why he did not. Thomas should have known that the other disciples were credible witnesses they were not gullible people. He tells the other disciples that he will not believe until he can handle the Lord Jesus body, he insists that he must see if he is going to believe.
The risen Jesus sees clearly the state of Thomas mind , he understand exactly where he is at and in his grace he appears to Thomas and invites him to do what he said he what he wanted to do. But when Thomas saw Jesus he confessed his faith confessing Jesus as “My Lord and my God” he moves from unbelief to one of the profoundest statements about Jesus recorded in the gospels. He realises at once that Jesus is not just the Messiah, but he is indeed God. It is this belief that turned Thomas into a great missionary, we know that he took the gospel to India and many believe he went to China. He travelled long distances proclaiming his faith and seeing many put their faith in the Lord they had not seen. By our Lord’s gracious approach doubting Thomas was turned into a mighty servant of God. When we meet with those who are doubting we too must graciously answer their questions knowing that the Lord who revealed himself to Thomas is able to reveal himself to any doubting person. Jesus by his gentle and gracious approach showed Thomas firstly the glory of who he was and only after that did he rebuke him for his unbelief. Our role is to point people to the Lord not condemn them for their doubts and fears. As we look at this story we will not minimise the sin of unbelief but we will maximise the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us confess with Thomas that Jesus is our Lord and our God and then like Thomas we will bring glory to the name of Jesus.