Today, on Resurrection Sunday, Pastor Ed Allen preached a message from John 20:24-29, where Jesus appears to Thomas.
Why did John feature this scene as the focus of his story of Jesus' life? Why is this the most important interaction in the whole book of John?
There's an important way Thomas is not like us at all:
Thomas is one of the apostles.
Thomas didn't need to see the resurrected Jesus in order to believe. In a real sense, he already did believe, because he was still showing up; he was there. Why did Jesus show up again for Thomas?
Thomas and the other apostles were specifically chosen to be eyewitnesses to the Resurrection.
The apostles had all actually seen the resurrected Jesus.
John is emphasizing: This stuff actually happened! We saw it with our own eyes!
When John saw the empty tomb, he believed. Some of us are more like Thomas.
But there are two ways Thomas is like us:
1) Many of us are just like Thomas in the way our faith is assaulted by doubt.
Doubt is common. It is not the opposite of faith, which is apathy.
You can only doubt what you partly believe.
Trying to force doubt away doesn't work. Trying to ignore it will lead you to apathy.
For some, your doubt is in danger of metastasizing into apathy. Inactivity is how that happens. Don't put your doubts on the shelf.
Thomas still showed up the next week. Keep showing up.
Doubt your doubts!
We are blessed here -- We have not seen, but we have believed.
2) Thomas is like us in his faith.
He here makes the clearest declaration of faith in the entire Bible: "My Lord and my God!"
This statement of faith is on what John's entire message is focused.
Thomas makes the ultimate faith declaration. He proclaims the heart of the Gospel.
If Jesus' teaching was the point, if it were all about a code of conduct, Thomas wouldn't have needed this encounter.
Our faith rests on a historical event, which changes life as we know it.
It's about Jesus, not about us.
The point is the power of the resurrected Christ!
We touch on that when we can say with our whole hearts, "My Lord and my God!"
Reliance on the great teacher Jesus is about you. We don't need a teacher; we need a Savior.
Jesus consistently claimed to be God. No one in their right mind would follow a teacher who made those claims - unless they were true.
We don't need more information; we need a Savior.
John was saying, "You can believe us! We barely believed it ourselves: Check out Thomas!"
1) Pay attention to the teaching of the Apostles.
Hear it from the eyewitnesses. Read the book yourself. (Start with John!)
2) Take the next right step.
3) Remember your own experiences. Don't surrender ground to doubt unnecessarily.
4) Look at his wounds.
We need a God who bleeds.
My Lord and my God!
We finished up sharing Communion together, and after the service, the children had an Easter Egg Hunt.