One of Jesus’ disciples that often gets rough treatment in the Church is Thomas. We often refer to him as "Doubting Thomas" because of today's passage. But I think that's unfair. Remember, when Jesus spoke of going to Jerusalem? The other disciples protested that it was too dangerous but Thomas was the one who said, "Let's all go to Jerusalem and we can die with Him." As I recently read today's passage, I was reminded of the way we often think and speak of others unfairly, especially considering our own flaws. Let's listen to the passage together:
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.” Then He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.” (John 20:19-25)
In this passage, Jesus had been crucified and the disciples were hiding, afraid that the crowd was going to do the same thing to them that they had done to Jesus. The door was locked, but Jesus walked in somehow and greeted them. Wow. Jesus is unpredictable! John writes, "As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!" Later, they told Thomas they had seen Jesus and he responded, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.” Thomas just wanted the same evidence that Jesus had given the rest of the guys! If you have had an encounter with Jesus, remember, others who don't yet know Him may not have had the same kind of encounter. Tell them about Him, give them grace, and allow Jesus to draw them to Him, like He drew you.
Remember, you may not know how to make Jesus more real for others, but Jesus always knows what to do...and that's very Good News!