23 Apr. John 20:24-29

23 Apr. Thomas worships Jesus as “My Lord and my God”

"Thomas (called Didymus) [meaning 'the twin'], who was one of the twelve [close followers], was not with them [in the upper room when Jesus came and appeared to them after he rose from the dead]. The other followers kept telling Thomas, 'We saw the Lord.'"

"But Thomas said, 'I will not believe it until I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side.'"

"A week later the followers were [in the guest room] in the house again, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked [because they were frightened that they might also be arrested], but Jesus came in and stood right in the middle of them."

"He said '[Shalom!] Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand here in my side. Stop being an unbeliever and believe.'"

"Thomas said to him [to Jesus], 'My Lord and my God!'"

"Then Jesus told him, 'You believe because you see me. Those who believe without seeing me will be truly happy.'"

          (John 20:24-29)

 

 

Only ten of Jesus's close followers were present in the guest room at John Mark's family home in Jerusalem when Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday and appeared to his friends (see John 20:19-20).

Thomas 'the twin' Didymus wasn't there and didn't see the risen Lord Jesus. 'Doubting' Thomas didn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead, and said he'd never believe unless he could feel the nail marks in Jesus's hands and the wound made by the spear in his side (see John 19:34).

A week later, the disciples were in the upper room again, behind locked doors, when Jesus suddenly appeared from nowhere and stood among them. He invited a startled Thomas to feel his wounds.

Thomas was gobsmacked! He fell down and worshipped Jesus and declared, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

If Jesus hadn't been God, he would have said, 'No, no, Thomas, you've got it wrong; I'm just a man, not God." But Jesus didn't say anything of the sort. And he accepted the worship of Thomas because he WAS God.

Beware of those who say that 'Jesus never claimed to be God'. It's just not true! In every gospel account, Jesus says something or does something to show without a doubt that he actually IS God.

In Matthew's gospel, Jesus never says openly, 'I am God' (because he would have been stoned to death immediately for apparent blasphemy). But Matthew DOES show that Jesus was 'God the Son' in other ways:

At his baptism by John, "heaven opened, and he saw God's Spirit coming down on him like a dove, And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love." (Matthew 3:16-17)

Jesus went around Galilee, "healing all the people's diseases and sicknesses", something only God can do. (Matthew 4:23) Jesus spoke to the waves and calmed a storm (Matthew 8:23-27). He forgave sins, which only God can do. (So "Some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, 'This man speaks as if he were God. That is blasphemy'." (Matthew 9:3).

In Mark's gospel, Jesus cast out evil spirits, and the crowds said, "This man is teaching something new, and with authority, He even gives commands to evil spirits, and they obey him." (Mark 1:27) When he forgave a paralysed man, the teachers of the Jewish law said, "He is speaking as if he were God. Only God can forgive sins." (Mark 2:7). Yet Jesus DID forgive sins. He called himself, "Lord of the Sabbath" (the day when Jews worshipped God). (Mark 2:28) And when he raised the dead and brought them back to life, "Everyone was completely amazed." (Mark 5:42)

In Luke's account, the "Glory of the Lord" (the radiant, shining presence of God himself) re-appeared on earth when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. (Luke 2:9) John fulfilled Isaiah's prophesy to "Prepare in the desert the way for the LORD" (i.e. for God) by preparing the way for Jesus. (Luke 3:4) As John baptised Jesus, God said, "You are my Son, whom I love." (Luke 3:22) On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus shone brilliantly white as he radiated the "Glory of the LORD" (i.e. the radiant glory of God). (Luke 9:29)

While John began his gospel by declaring, "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God," (John 1:1) he went on to say that Jesus claimed to be God even before Abraham was born: "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM." (John 8:58) ('I AM' sounded like the Hebrew 'YHWH' or 'Yahweh', God's own personal name revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14). We may miss Jesus's meaning because of the way his speech is translated into English; but the Jews who heard him had no such hesitation. They knew he was claiming God's own personal name for himself, and "picked up stones to throw at him" (John 8:59) for what they thought was blasphemy.

When Jesus prayed for his followers in the olive groves of Gethsemane, Jesus said, "Holy Father, keep them safe... so they will be one, just as you and I are one." (John 17:11) And when Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father", Jesus replied, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:8-9)

Jesus said to Thomas, "You believe because you see me. But those who believe without seeing me will be truly happy." (John 20:29) Do we believe because we see Jesus? Or do we see Jesus because we believe?

You can read more about Jesus's resurrection appearances @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-appears-to-his-fol…/


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