I remember one Bible commentator saying ‘’Didymus’’ (24) means ‘’twin’’. He admitted that we don’t know who Thomas’ twin was, but, he said, ‘’We sometimes think we are!” He has a point. It may be a bit of a cliché, and yet I think it is a valid point, that you never know what you might miss when you skip a meeting. Of course, it’s true that everyone misses church at times. We go away on holidays; illness can intervene; we may have family to visit. So many valid reasons can keep us away. Nevertheless we are living in an age, in the West at least, where many Christians seem to have higher priorities than regular fellowship. I sometimes wonder what church membership means for people who are haphazard and irregular in their church attendance. When Thomas ‘’missed church’’ his fellow-believers let him know what he’d missed (25a).
The sight of Jesus’ wounded body must have made a profound impression on the disciples (20), and it seems that they spoke about this to Thomas (25b) But he replied like a true rationalist. Some have tried to explain away the resurrection appearances of Christ as hallucinations. But Thomas was not about to have one!
One week later, the scene was replicated (26; see 19). The only difference was that Thomas had made it to church! When Jesus graciously gave this personal invitation to Thomas (27), the sceptical disciple must have realised that Christ was in the room earlier when he spoke his unbelieving words (25b). Certainly He had heard them. Earlier this year, while Jilly and I were visiting a church of many thousands in Singapore, something was said in the sermon that made us realise that Jesus knew all about a conversation we’d had earlier that morning. The detail doesn’t matter here. But Jesus has ways of letting you know that He knows you through and through, and He knows precisely where you are. ‘’Lord’’(28) can be a polite courtesy, like ‘’Sir’’. Or it can mean ‘divine’. Here it must have the fullest content. Thomas did not need to apply his ‘tests’. He was humbly convinced. In (29), the Lord pronounces a blessing on all who believe without seeing. That embraces the majority of Christians. The world says, ‘’Seeing is believing’’, but we say, ‘’Believing is seeing’’ (Hebrews 11:1, 6). The chapter closes on the note of informing the reader that Jesus did many more ‘’miraculous signs’’ than those recorded in this gospel (30). But those which have been written down are intended to lead to faith.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I find myself with Thomas – wanting to worship you as ‘’My Lord and my God!’’