Monday, April 22, 2019

My Lord and My God John 20:24-29

My Lord and My God

Text John 20:24-29

John 20:24-29
 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.  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.  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.  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.  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Refusing To Believe - John 20:25

John 20:25
 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.

Unbelieving Thomas

Thomas refuse to believe the others. We call Thomas, doubting Thomas, but there is no doubt in what Thomas says. “I will not believe.” In the Greek it is a double negative which means adamantly I will not. Thomas didn’t wasn’t a doubter, no in this case Thomas was an unbeliever.
This is interesting because the earlier Thomas, from just about a week before was anything but and unbeliever. In fact when Jesus said that He had to go to Jerusalem, Thomas was ready to go and die at Jesus side.

John 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

That is a dramatic, drastic change. From I will die with him to I don’t believe that the other disciples saw Jesus resurrected from the grave. What had changed? Why had he changed? 

It think first of all, he had lost contact with Jesus. Physically,  it has been over a week since the crucifixion. Thomas also lost connection with Jesus spiritually, when he and the other apostles had deserted Jesus in the Garden. And emotionally, Thomas was a wreck, he had witnessed the terrible trauma of Christ's death. All these things drove a wedge of separation between Thomas and the Savior he loved and trusted.

Secondly I think one of the reasons Thomas was expressing such doubt was that he had also lost contact with the other apostles. We are not told why but Thomas was not with them when Jesus first appeared on that first resurrection Sunday. Perhaps he was grieving on his own, perhaps he was feeling the guilt and shame of his desertion and did not want to be with those who reminded him of how he had failed. We don’t why or where but we do know he wasn’t there. And it resulted in his making this absolute statement of unbelief about the resurrection of Jesus.

Unbelieving Me

I can throw stones at Thomas for his unbelief, but if I am honest there are time in my own life when I have been as unbelieving as Thomas. I think we can all can find ourselves in that condition and for many of the same reasons.

We can lose contact with Jesus if we are not careful. Physically, we are out of church, away from God's people. Spiritually, we quit praying, or stop reading our Bible, or quit serving the Lord. Emotionally, we can get hurt by those we love or by those who claim to love the Lord. We can become scarred, bitter, and angry even at God. When we are separated it is much easier for sin, Satan and this world then to bring us to a place of crisis and sometimes to a place of unbelief.
This unbelief state of the heart does not mean you are lost or somehow can lose your salvation but it does mean, just like Thomas there is something that God has said, or God has promised they you will not believe. This is not an uncommon. We see it throughout the Bible and one of the clearest examples of this is a musician named Asaph who wrote the 73rd Psalms.

Psalms 73 Asaph's complaint about the wicked. Ps 73:12-14 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. Verily I have cleansed my heartin vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning

Illustration.  Funeral for "Red". 
If we are not aware of it, or we let it grow that unbelief can become permanent.  There was a man I only knew of as “Red”, who had let that happen to him and through him his whole family. The first funeral I ever did as a young pastor was for a former Baptist Pastor that I had never met. He had so lost contact with Jesus, through conflict and hurt at a church that he had come to unbelief in his life and it affected his whole family. At the funeral I watched as two sheriff deputies escorted this man’s oldest son into the service. He was manacled at the wrist, the waist and his ankles. The unbelief of the father had infected his son and destroyed his family. When he died he did not even have a pastor or a church that was there to do his funeral and I was asked to step in.

Transition:  What prevents us from becoming like Asaph or "Red" how can the person of Jesus Christ remain real to me? The same way in happened with Thomas.  Vs 27 Jesus makes himself real to me.

Reach Here - John 20:27

 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.

Jesus Proves Himself to Thomas

Jesus did not let Thomas slide away from him in his hurt and unbelief. We see Jesus with no hint of unwillingness or anger at the unbelief of Thomas, reach out and offer him the proof he asked for.
He does not toss Thomas away, he does not even chide but only encourages him to be not faithless but believing. If there ever was a person that you could look at and say here this person lost his salvation it should have been Thomas, but Jesus never treats him like a lost man, but only like a child who has lost their way but not their salvation.

Jesus was never afraid to show who he was. Never worried about proving himself.

In scripture he bold claimed to be God
Joh 8:23 And he said unto them,  Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Joh 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
But it is not just in scripture that Jesus proves himself. He proves himself as our Lord and savior time and time again, in when we come to a place of unbelief.

Jesus Prove Himself to Us

He never condemns or casts out away because of our doubts or fear but always invites us to know him more.

Scripture Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Don’t be afraid to put Jesus to the test in our lives, because even as we dare him, much as Thomas did, to overcome all the obstacles that we erect, He will show Himself faithful, loving, forgiving and caring. He is more than able to deal with our unbelief, more than able to overcome our hurt, more than able to prove He is Lord and Savior and God.

And as proves Himself over and over again, we will come to a place that we can say as John did in …

Scripture 1John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Do you remember Asaph in Psalms 73:16  and his struggle with believing God when there was so much evil in the world. In vs. 16 he says, When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 
But then something changed for Asaph, as it did for Thomas, as it will for us when we come back into contact with the love and power of God.

In vs. 17 He says, Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

I could stand up here and tell you the times in my life when Jesus has proven himself to me. In spite of my unbelief, and my inability to understand.

I could recall the numerous times over 40 years, I’ve waited by the bedside of saint crossing from this life into the next. Every single time I’ve seen Jesus prove himself as the master of death, a friend who was closer than a brother and that he never left nor forsook his own.

I can tell you how I talked to Jesus one day while hanging from a cliff thinking I was going to have a quick trip onto some rocks 300 ft below me and then wake up in heaven. All I need so say is that I was very stupid and Jesus was very forgiving and very real that day.

I’ve felt His arms around me so many times at the scene of tragedy and sorry and yes great joy as well. He has proven Himself over and over and I haven’t even seen Heaven yet.

Resurrection Reality - John 20:28

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Thomas’ Testimony

He did not need to touch the nail scarred hands or feel the spear torn side. Just as it was for Mary once he saw him and once he heard his Savior’s voice, Thomas knew. And he calls out in one of the strongest and most sincere professions of faith we have in the Bible, “My Lord and My God.

This is the last of the testimonies that John records to the deity of Jesus Christ. The others are:

John the Baptist John 1:34  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.;

Nathanael John 1:49  Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.  

Jesus Himself John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

Peter John 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Martha John 11:27 Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John himself John 20:31 these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Our Testimony

After Thomas makes gives his moving declaration, Jesus says, John 20:29 “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Jesus looks down the eons and centuries of time to this very day and promises an even greater blessing on those who have not seen as Thomas did that day. That is hard to comprehend but the Lord is saying, the blessing will be greater by faith than it was by sight.

I can’t imagine a greater blessing than seeing Jesus’ nail pierced hands and feet. I can’t wrap my understanding around the idea that walking by faith now means a greater blessing even than Thomas experienced that day, but it is exactly what Jesus promised.

Peter echoes this same truth to the Gentiles a few year later in Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

What is the result of knowing the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus, knowing that He lives and is with us even today? It is the assurance that only can come with that reality.
Will you stand faithful in world that is growing more evil?   Yes, because Jesus is alive.
Will souls be saved when they hear the Gospel?  Yes, because Jesus overcome the power of Hell.
Will our church survive, will it grow?  Yes, because sin could not hold Him
Will our bodies one day rise from the grave? Yes, because Jesus came forth from the grave.
Will this world be ruled for a thousand years Jesus returns as King? Yes, because Jesus overruled even the power of death.
Will all sorrow be done away and every tear be dried? Yes, because Jesus live and reigns for all eternity.


The story of the death of Thomas the believer is mostly legend but it is a fitting one. There is an account given on pg. 88-89 of Martyr's Mirror.  It says that Thomas went to India to preach the gospel. His faithful witness put him in opposition to the rulers of that pagan land. Finally, he was arrested and told to renounce preaching in Jesus name and sacrifice to the king's pagan deities. They seared his flesh with hot irons, but Thomas refused to deny His risen Lord.  When the King saw that he could not change him by burning his arms and legs, he decided to stop him by burning his body. Thomas was thrown into a furnace in the city of Calamina, West Indies about 70 AD.  While he suffered in the flames. The soldiers of the king thrust spears into the fire and into his body.  The wounds that he said he must see before he would believe in Jesus resurrection were now proof of Thomas' unshakable belief in Jesus resurrection.

What is your testimony today of Jesus Christ, your savior? For a living Savior we should have a living testimony.

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