Beyond a Reasonable Doubt | Part 3: Encounter
May 3, 2021
May 3, 2021
24 But Thomas (called “Twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples were telling him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:24-25)
Thomas does not want to be gullible. His doubt is grounded in the fear of being made a fool again. You, too, don’t want to be “sucked in” to a vapid black hole of “faith,” empty of substance.
So what is the proper remedy for this kind of doubt? Does Thomas need a nap? Does he need a seminary class on biblical worldview? What is the proper remedy for those who, no doubt like some of you, have found your experience with Jesus’ so-called ambassadors to be one big disappointment? What is the remedy for this kind of doubt?
In verse 25, Thomas asks for the most personal and concrete demonstration he can think of … something that would prove this “so called” resurrected Jesus was the physical Jesus put in the tomb. “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
The remedy is a genuine encounter with the real Jesus. THAT is what he asks for, and THAT is what he will get.
What is the result of this remedy? Look with me at the next few verses.
26 A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even 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 and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.”
28 Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26-28)
Read in context, Thomas’s statement in verse 28 is truly astounding for many reasons, but one must be highlighted.
Notice that Thomas’ confession is intensely personal. “MY Lord and MY God!” Thomas’ statement goes well beyond simply stating something that is true. Even the Devil himself affirms that Jesus is Lord and God! No … Thomas is affirming not only that Jesus is the Lord and God of this universe, but that He is the Lord and God of HIS universe.
And the same is required of us. This is the only kind of belief in Jesus that Jesus believes … a personal, intimate confession that Jesus is MY Lord and MY God. And this belief comes as a result of having a genuine encounter with the real Jesus.
Rob is Teaching Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.