“Look put your finger here; look here are my hands. Give me your hand, put it into my side.”
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Thomas is not among the twelve when Jesus appears to them in the Upper Room the first time. When they tell him that they have seen the Lord, he cannot believe what they are telling him. To be fair, who can blame him? Thomas reacts as most of us probably would have in the same situation. He says that unless he can see for himself that it is really Jesus by putting his hands into his wounds, he will not believe. It must have been a difficult eight days as the other disciples talked about the experience they had had of the Lord. I suspect that there may have been a fair bit of tension between Thomas and the other disciples.
And then Jesus returns specifically for Thomas’ sake and speaks the same words of peace. Thomas must have felt such a mix of feelings. Joy at seeing his Lord and teacher again; embarrassment and shame at not having believed the other disciples’ testimony and not believing that Jesus could rise from the dead. It was evident that Jesus knew what Thomas had said – that he refused to believe unless he could touch the wounds of Jesus for himself – because he invites Thomas to do just that.
Often, we struggle to believe and trust too. Faith is not always easy, and for some, it is more difficult than others. In times of loss and grief, it can be especially hard. Our response is often mixed, part of us believes or wants to, and part of us struggles. Like that powerful prayer of the father who sought Jesus’ help for this son, we may say, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”
When we struggle, Thomas is a good person to have a conversation with and to ask to intercede for us for the gift of faith. And remember that as with Thomas, Jesus will find a way to help us to find faith in him again.