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But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

 John 20: 24 – 29

 

The 3rd of July is the feast day of St. Thomas the apostle, patron saint of builders and many other causes but not as I heard it once suggested that he should be patron saint of journalists because he wanted the facts.  Perhaps that is why he isn’t.

 

I’ve always had a problem with Thomas.  He was the one who suggested that they should all go with Jesus to Jerusalem and die with him and yet he was also the one who wouldn’t believe the others when they told him that they had seen Jesus, complete with his wounds, after he had died..

‘Unless I put my finger into the wounds in his hands and my hand into his side I’ll not believe,’ he said.

 

Perhaps he’s a bit like me.  I often want proof.  When someone I trust implicitly tells me a favourite television programme has ended, I still like to see for myself.  Or if that same person tells me it’s quicker to go to the supermarket by another route, I have to test it.  I don’t believe straight away and have to check it out.  If Thomas is called ‘doubting’, then so am I and so are so many of us who like to be independent.

 

What happened when Thomas got the proof?  John doesn’t say that he actually touched Jesus’ wounds but on seeing Jesus and hearing him speak he fell to his knees saying. ‘My Lord and my God!’  If he hadn’t believed before, he certainly believed then.

 

Could Thomas have been portraying the rest of us?  Those that came after Jesus had died, those of us who hadn’t even been born then?  He wanted proof, he got it.  Not only for himself but for all of us who weren’t around at that time.  Those who came after, you and me.  Was his test the exclamation mark to emphasise the fact that Jesus defeated death and promised the same for all of us?

 

And Jesus Statement, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”  Surely, that is meant for all of us.  Thomas carried out the test, we don’t need to see the wounds.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.  That’s you and me, providing we believe.

Roger Stapenhill

 

 

Doubting Thomas