Thomas – My Lord and My God
Thomas seemed to be a disciple who said what was on his mind instead of keeping it to himself. When the other disciples appeared to caution Jesus about going to Jerusalem around the time Lazarus died, Thomas spoke the contrary opinion and suggested, “let us also go up, that we may die with Him.” (See John 11:16). And when Jesus was explaining that the time was approaching that He return to heaven to prepare a place for them, it was Thomas who spoke up, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going, how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).
Some people seem to ask the question that everyone else is wondering about. They have a knack for articulating questions or perspectives the rest of us haven’t thought about or have naively assumed we understood.
Thomas wasn’t there the evening Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection. When they excitedly told him, “We have seen the Lord.” Thomas replied, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Thomas has been called a doubter because of this response, but was it really doubt? Or was it that he just wouldn’t be fooled. Was he representing the rest of us who were not there and need, or think we need, empirical evidence?
“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” (John 20:26-27)
Jesus knew what Thomas had said, and what he was thinking. He loved Thomas and met him right where he was. Picture the scene as Jesus takes the hand of his young disciple and places it in the large, crude, wound on the Savior’s wrist where the nail had been hammered in and later roughly wrangled out of His limp, dead body. And then putting Thomas fingers into the gash on Jesus’ side where the soldiers spear had been deeply thrust.
“My Lord and my God!” (28) the overwhelmed disciple was somehow able to muster. Thomas was the first person to declare the Deity of Christ after the resurrection. Lord. Messiah. Savior. God!
“Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Empirical, observational evidence is good but it is just the beginning of knowledge. Beyond seeing and touching and experiencing physically there are the greater emotional, spiritual components of faith, awe and wonder, beauty and majesty. When Thomas touched the risen Lord the deeper truths of Christ’s eternal identity and Godhood crashed into his spirit like a wave from the sea and He would never be the same.
By the grace of God, the living Word, and the Holy Spirit, this same revelation comes to those people today who hear the Gospel and believe. Like Thomas our questions are answered empirically, through the efficacy of the Scriptures, but also in a deeper, must more meaningful way that wakes our inner man to life and we become overwhelmed by the deep-seated clarity that Christ is God.
Now humbly, gratefully, we can declare with our brother Thomas, “Jesus Christ, My Lord and My God!”