In the Gospel of John, we come across “doubting Thomas” – but, in reality, Thomas was not ‘doubting’. Rather, he was totally sceptical about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, 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.” – John 20:24-25 (KJV).
“Seeing is believing” is a common expression today, isn’t it? In life, there are many things we hear which cause us to have trouble. Thomas was dismissive of the resurrection and his reaction to the news that Christ was risen is, I’m sure, shared by many in the world today.
It’s interesting Thomas uses the expression, “I will not believe…”
He had been with Christ, received teaching, seen prophecies fulfilled and now had the testimony of the disciples – yet he would not believe. How representative of the world today. We have in the Bible all of the evidence of Jesus’ birth, life and death and the glorious Gospel that Christ died for you and for me.
Yet, the majority of the world today says no to faith in Christ, no to the Son of God and no to eternal security.
Christ was rejected by the world.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” – John 1:10 (KJV).
Despite all that Christ did to prove who He was – such as creative and providential miracles throughout His ministry including feeding the 5000 or raising the dead – He was rejected.
And so it continues today. I believe we need to be reminded how few true believers are in number.
As Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (KJV).
And, as Matthew 7:14 puts it, Christ again taught, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (KJV).
Why is it that so few accept the free offer of salvation?
The gospel is so simple that a child can understand it, yet we should not be surprised that people do not want to talk about spiritual things.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV).
Man’s logic rejects the idea of personal sin and the need of a Saviour. Man sees himself as independent of God, and therefore he creates his own delusions about physical and spiritual life – even more so as time passes.
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” – 2 Peter 3:3-4 (KJV).
Christ was rejected by God’s chosen people.
“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” – John 1:11 (KJV).
The Jews had all of their history from Abraham to call on as a witness to and of God’s provision. The promise of a Messiah was common knowledge, even to non Jews. The Samaritan woman at the well is an example and Christ fulfilled all of the Messianic promises.
Simeon understood when he saw Jesus Christ.
“And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” – Luke 2:27-32 (KJV).
The Jews were without excuse – and both then and to this day they have rejected Christ as the Messiah. What was strange was that at the time of Christ they accepted John the Baptist.
When he, from prison, asked Christ if He was the Messiah, just look at the answer.
“Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto Him, Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.” – Matthew 11:2-6 (KJV).
Here, Christ shows fulfilment of all the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah – yet God’s chosen people refused to believe.
Christ was rejected by His followers.
John 1:11, the verse above which speaks of Jesus coming unto His own but His own not receiving Him, could well have been written exclusively for Thomas. Thomas wanted more proof, more convincing and more evidence that Christ was who He said He was. Oh how that reflects the world’s view.
Notice, however, that when Christ appears, everything changes – and so it will be when
He returns in glory for His Church and for His children. Following His first appearance to the disciples, Christ comes again. The doors were shut and Christ appears supernaturally – no longer constrained by the physical. He repeats Thomas’ own words.
“Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.” – John 20:27 (KJV).
Now, Thomas believes. He has the proof he wanted – but faith is not about the phrase “seeing is believing.”
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” – John 20:29 (KJV).
Eternal life is available to all who will simply believe without seeing. It’s a matter of accepting what God says in His Word. Believers should have no doubts. Unbelievers, simply, need to believe.
Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” – Isaiah 45:22 (KJV).
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” – Romans 10:9 (KJV).
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About the author
Barrie Hanson lives in Bluff, Southland. He has been a Christian for over 40 years and in that time he has been a preacher, Pastor and a church helper in both Auckland and Hamilton.
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