by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Jesus is Always the Same.
Finally, the denial led to a demand.
He denies the testimony of the Apostles and this leads him to demand proof.
Thomas tells the others that he will not believe until he gets to see Jesus for himself.
Then he goes a step further, he wants to touch Jesus, put his hands where the nails were and where the spear was put into Jesus’ side.
Thomas was quickly caught in a dangerous, downward spiritual spiral.
The fact is that he was slipping quickly and no one but Jesus could get him out.
The next thing that happens is that Thomas was given a specific demonstration.
A week goes by and there was no appearance of Jesus and we have no idea what Thomas was thinking, but it couldn’t have been a good week.
He was left to his lack of focus.
Just when he may have been ready to give up hope of seeing Jesus, then Jesus finally appears.
When Jesus appears He greets the entire group and turns His attention on Thomas.
At this point, Thomas has to be thinking, here it comes, Jesus is going to tell me how disgusting and rotten I am.
Jesus knew the heart of Thomas because He offers exactly what he was asking for and Jesus gives him the proof he needed.
It is important to note that Jesus was not offended or angered by the request Thomas made.
We know that because He responds with love and kindness.
Jesus then begins to speak to him about the real issue and cuts right to the chase.
He tells Thomas to stop doubting and believe.
What does it mean to doubt?
There are two key definitions for doubt; the first means to be double minded or to have a lack of focus or commitment, and the second means to have no faith at all.
Jesus was telling Thomas that he was moving toward having a faithless life.
There are times in life when doubt is healthy and reasonable.
For instance, a few weeks ago I saw a tabloid with a story on the cover about Elvis being alive and in Hawaii.
Now I seriously doubt the reliability of that story because it’s just not reasonable.
There is more than enough reason to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.
Jesus was crucified, He was dead and buried, and then the tomb was empty, He was seen by many people, and the apostles were changed in radical ways after that first Easter.
Doubt is not negative until it leads you to choose not to believe.
This was exactly what Jesus was warning Thomas about.
Literally, Jesus was saying: “Thomas, you are acting like a person who has no faith; stop it and believe.
The only way to survive your doubts is to believe.
Now we don’t believe everything that comes our way, like that story about Elvis, but we are called to believe the account of the gospel and that Jesus is alive.
Believing means to put your complete trust in something or someone.
To believe in Jesus means to depend totally on Him and to place your trust in Him, 100%.
There are two questions that we should all ask ourselves—
Do I believe in Jesus?
Have I put a complete trust in Him or just a partial trust?
The last thing I want you to see is that Thomas gave a dynamic declaration.
He falls before Jesus and proclaims that He is Lord and God.
He goes from demanding evidence to declaring truth.
He says that Jesus is the Lord of all things and the God of all creation.
This is one of the greatest statements of faith in the entire New Testament.
Thomas made a personal declaration of trust in Jesus.
Jesus wants us to declare Him before others.
He said that if we don’t do that, He will not declare us to His Father.
Where are you in that process?
Have you made your declaration of Jesus being your Lord and your God?
Jesus tells Thomas that he believed because he saw and was convinced.
Maybe you have been caught in a downward spiral and things have been slipping in your spiritual life.
That’s happened to me before, but God caught me before I hit bottom, and He brought me back to a place where I could once again have fellowship with Him.
Maybe you have never made the claim to put your trust in Jesus.
Maybe you are just waiting for the chance to see some proof.
Jesus is with us now by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
He is here waiting for you to turn from your lack of focus and faith to proclaim Him as your Lord and your God.
I don’t know what it is that you need this morning but Jesus does.
Just as He knew what Thomas needed so long ago, He knows today what you need and He is waiting to meet that need.
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