Thomas…was not with the disciples when Jesus came. John 20:24 (NIV)
Put yourself in Thomas’s shoes. You have just come through the most painful trauma of your life. You have seen Jesus arrested, tortured, condemned, and then crucified.
Thomas committed himself to Jesus, and now Jesus has been taken from him. Seeing the wounds of Jesus seems to have made a deep impression on Thomas. Perhaps he struggled to sleep the night after Jesus died. Perhaps the images of the wounds in His hands, feet, and side kept rolling round his mind as he struggled to take in the horror and cruelty of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Perhaps Thomas felt he couldn’t handle being with the group of disciples, so he decided to take a walk and be alone with his thoughts. Jesus appeared to the rest of the disciples, but Thomas was not there. They had to inform him, “We have seen the Lord!” (20:25).
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt absolutely miserable, and then you were confronted by a group of overexcited people? That’s not easy to take.
“We have seen the Lord!” they said. Thomas found this hard to process, so he said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” (20:25).
Do you see what Thomas was saying? He refused to believe just because somebody else said so. He loved and respected the other disciples, but he could not believe in a secondhand kind of way.
It was quite obvious something had happened to them, but Thomas knew that his heart could not embrace what his mind did not believe. Thomas was determined that his faith should rest on solid evidence.
What is positive about Thomas’s response? Are you approaching your faith like this?