Seeing & Believing
"And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them" (John 20:26). This sixth recorded appearance of the Lord after His resurrection would have also fallen on a Sunday ("eight days" = the two Sundays and the six days in between). Jesus came in the same manner and with the same greeting ("Peace to you!"), giving Thomas the same opportunity for believing that the other apostles had a week earlier.

Jesus then said to Thomas - "Reach your finger here and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing!" (John 20:27). Thomas had proposed what he considered to be an infallible test. Jesus is more than willing to submit to it. It should be noted that the text does not say whether or not Thomas actually did touch the Lord. His sight may have been sufficient for him. This seems to be the case according to 20:29 where Jesus states that Thomas believed because he had seen Him, not because he had touched Him.

"Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:28). Here is the first recorded confession of Christ as God. It should be stated in Thomas' favor that if his doubts were heaviest, his confession of faith was the fullest!

The Lord replied - "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). Jesus is certainly pleased with Thomas for his confession of faith. However, Jesus pronounces a blessing upon the countless number (from the first century through the present) who would believe in His resurrection as if they had looked upon Him with physical eyes yet without actually doing so.

"And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:30,31). John started his book with the proposition that Jesus, as the Word, was God, and he now comes to the climax of Thomas' confession that Jesus is God. John declares that Jesus performed many other miracles and signs which were not written down. However, the ones that were written down to be preserved were sufficient to produce faith in Jesus the Christ as God's Son, and that was John's purpose in recording them (cf. Rom. 10:17). The evidence the gospel writers provide is both reliable and trustworthy and is to be the basis of our faith. Even though we today cannot see with our eyes what Thomas did, we can know just as certainly as He did (because of the written evidence) that Jesus Christ is God's Son and the Savior of the world. Those who come to hold such a belief "may have life in His name." The wording is conditional because tragically there are some who mentally affirm the fact of Jesus' deity, yet they will not submit to Him in humble obedience. Such will not have life in His name even though it is freely available to them (cf. Matt. 7:21-23; I John 2:4; 5:3)!