Have you ever wondered why we’re so hard on Thomas? We’re not told why he missed the first large group encounter with the Risen Savior. It was probably that late, Sunday night meeting when the two from Emmaus burst in with their great news – just in time for Jesus, Himself to appear. Talk about doubting! You’ll remember that a whole room full of followers couldn’t believe it was Jesus, at first, for the amazing shift such belief would bring to their doom and gloom feelings.
Some biographers present Thomas as the realist of the disciples. …just the facts, ma’m, just the facts, kind of guy. With what little we know about him, we might excuse him for not taking seriously the exaggerated tone of his fellow disciples’ report. But, note, the next week, he was present when Jesus again appeared. You’ll find this account in John20:19-20, 24-29.
Jesus took Thomas’s response when he saw the Lord for himself, to teach a valuable lesson, good for us all. Verse 29 – Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
You realize, don’t you, that this blessing extends down the centuries to us! We have not yet seen Jesus in His Resurrection body…but we do believe. When your family gathers, turn to John 20: 30-31 and let each person read aloud John’s commentary on this incident as recorded for us.
“Jesus gave a great many other signs in the presence of His disciples which are not recorded in this book. But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God, and that in that faith you may have life as His disciples.”
Here’s a suggestion. On an unlined sheet of paper, let someone in your family draw a set of building blocks, one atop the other. Taking suggestions from family members, write in each block (from the bottom up) something upon which you have based your belief in Jesus. How many blocks can you fill in?
Then turn together to Romans 10:9-13. Here Paul adds his commentary. (Remember he was not present at any of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, except for one.)Read these verses three times, pausing between each reading to reflect and pray. As you let God speak to your hearts during this time, be sure to record what you hear from Him. And don’t forget to close with prayers of thanksgiving.
For it is believing in the heart that makes a person righteous before God, and it is stating his belief by his own mouth that confirms his salvation. …for all have the same Lord, Whose boundless resources are available to all who turn to Him in faith. For, whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved! (from the Phillips version)
Jesus…and though you have never seen Him,
yet I know that you love Him.
At present you trust Him without being able to see him,
and even now He brings you a joy that words cannot express
and which has in it a hint of the glories of Heaven.
I Peter 1:8 (Phillips)