Mid Week Meditation - June 20, 2018Submitted on: June 20, 2018
Based on Biblical Text: John 20:29
Our text is a commentary on the blessings of faith as it reveals in no uncertain terms that there is a reward in store for those who believe without seeing. It points out, quite clearly, that there is a tremendous bonus in store for those who accept Jesus and His promises. There is a reward for those who step out on His Word with faith.
The concept of Christianity is quite simple. Christianity is built on faith. As a matter of fact faith is the most basic tenant of our entire doctrine. What we believe to be true, what we consider without question is based on faith. None of us have seen God with our natural eye, nor have heard God with our natural ears. Yet we come together, week after week to worship Him and to demonstrate that we believe beyond any doubt He does exist.
When we are asked for proof that God exists we can quickly point out that we see God in nature, in science and in humanity. We sing songs that give proof of our faith that God lives. A song writer penned—“Over my head, I hear music…there must be a God somewhere!” We believe by faith, and not by sight.
Folk without faith are just like “Doubting Thomas” who couldn’t grasp the concept of faith. He needed that fleshly experience of touching and seeing and hearing.
Consider, if you will, how small our Christian community would be if everyone had that same attitude? I submit to you that doubting spirit would have crushed the Christian movement before it ever got off the ground. That would mean that the only members of the early church would have been those who had seen Jesus, those who had witnessed His miracles. The only members of the early church would have been those who had walked with Him and talked with Him.
This doubting doctrine of skepticism first promoted by Thomas would have caused the Christian movement to die with the witnesses. After all, Jesus does not come down every now and then to be inspected by the masses!
We can find in the Bible three times where what Thomas said is recorded. In each instance Thomas appears to be doubting or contradicting something that Jesus has said.
The first recorded words of Thomas were spoken as Jesus and His disciples prepared to go to Bethany so that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead. The second time where we find Thomas expressing his doubt was in the Upper Room with the disciples. They were sharing in the Last Supper. Jesus told them at the supper that He was leaving them. Jesus told them that He was going on to prepare a place for them, a place where they would be able to join Him. Jesus said, “Whither I go, ye know; and the way ye know.” Brother Thomas spoke up, showing his doubt and disbelief when he said, “Lord, we know not wither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him—“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
No matter what the subject was, Thomas always responded with more questions. We find in our text Thomas refuses to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead. When Jesus arose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples on that very same evening. But for some reason unknown to us, Thomas was not there.
A few days later Thomas ran into the disciples and they said to him, (I’m paraphrasing) “You should have been there at the meeting. We saw our Lord!” Of course Thomas immediately replied, (paraphrasing again) “I saw Him die with my own eyes. I heard Jesus say, ‘It is finished!’.” However, the more Thomas expressed his disbelief, the more insistent the others were. They continued to try to convince Thomas that they had seen their Lord, Jesus Christ. This is when Brother Thomas broke out with his now famous words saying, “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
When it came time for the disciples to meet at the appointed place, Thomas was with them. After a while Jesus showed up. Jesus said “Peace be unto you.” You wanted proof, well, here it is! Thomas immediately realized what a disappointment he had been to his Lord. Thomas was ashamed of the demands he had made and of the doubt he had shown. As Thomas stood off in the distance, he cried out with a mixture of penitence and conviction, “My Lord, and My God.”
It was then that Jesus said the words that should prove to be the foundation of our faith. “Thomas because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Christianity rests not on seeing, not on touching. Christianity rest—on faith alone!
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