Except I See

John 20: 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, 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. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

We might not verbally say “except I shall see” to God but we act like it.  The old saying is “seeing is believing.”  It has truth to it, but we must use faith.  We do it all the time.  Even in driving every day we use faith.  God has given us faith to believe on him.  Thomas had trouble.  He had tendency to follow from a pessimistic point of view.  Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was sick.  Jesus tarried.  Lazarus died and then Jesus told the disciples they were going to Lazarus because he slept. They said if he slept then they didn’t need to go.  Jesus let them know that Lazarus was dead.   They were scared because they knew the Pharisees and others were after Jesus and that meant them too.  How about you?  Is it easier to look at the bad side of situations and have doubt than to believe?

Verse 20 of John 20 tells us that the disciples were glad when they say Jesus.  Thomas wasn’t there.  The Lord knew where he was.  He had appeared to some—the Emmaus disciples and Peter—but not others on that first day.  They all were down.  In our frailty we sometimes doubt but God doesn’t give up on us even when we’re quick to do so.  Thomas was absent and missed out on seeing Jesus.  There is a meeting place for us and the Lord, and we need to be there.  Don’t be too concerned about what you see; be more concerned about who you believe.  Trust the Lord.

Today is Thomas’ Sunday.  It was a week later that Jesus appeared to the disciples again when Thomas was there.  The Lord hasn’t let us down; there’s never been a time he’s not with us.  Why is it that we put out stipulations?  Thomas wanted to believe on his terms.  He missed it because he wanted to see instead of having faith to believe.  Regardless of how bad things get we should not get hung up on what we see and hear.  Trust the Lord.  Proverbs tells us to trust him with all our heart and not lean on our understanding.  When we do that God will direct our path.  No matter how big the devil seems to get, the Lord is greater.

Jesus didn’t tell the disciples to inform Thomas that he had missed it.  He gave him another chance.  The best advice we can take is not to be faithless but believing.  No matter what we’re told by others or the media, trust God.  We don’t need to see Jesus to believe.  Thomas said that unless he put his fingers in the scars he wouldn’t believe.  Imagine how that would hurt.  What if I came to see you in the hospital after a surgery and stuck my finger in it.  It’s not necessary.   It hurts Jesus when we have to touch and feel instead of use our faith.  We need to believe what he says.  I need to trust him more.  We all should be like the man with the son who needed Jesus and pray “Lord, help my unbelief.”  Take the whole Word of God.  He doesn’t contradict himself.

Thomas saw and believed.  We are more blessed when we believe first.  We have yet to see the face of God but I’ve seen plenty to increase my faith in him.  Thomas didn’t run his finger into the wounds.  Jesus knew he had said that’s what he needed to do.  Give the Lord your doubts and hindrances.  Thomas was satisfied.  He simply said “my Lord and my God.”  His doubts were settled.  Every day is Easter—and it should be.

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