When Jesus first appeared to the disciples, Thomas was gone. He now returns to find the disciples excited because they say Jesus has risen from the dead and appeared to them.
Thomas is extremely skeptical of the disciples’ claims; for this reason he is sometimes called “Doubting Thomas.” Before we ridicule him we need to consider that his reaction is the normal reaction for most human beings. The claim that a dead man by his own power chose to live again is ludicrous to most rational people. We would all be just as skeptical as Thomas. Thomas demands physical proof before he will believe.
Christianity is the only falsifiable religion
As religious claims go the resurrection is probably one of the most far-fetched. However, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the only falsifiable claim in all world religions. Most religions are not verifiable or falsifiable; they rest on claims that cannot be proven to be true or false. For example, Mohammed’s vision took place somewhere in the dessert, alone in his tent. How do you prove that it did not happen? In contrast, Jesus was crucified in a place you can visit today. Every detail can be examined in light of history, astronomy, archaeology, etc. Every single fact of the death and resurrection of Christ could easily be disproved because it was such a documented, public event. However, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has withstood every examination from every single angle.
The change in Thomas
Upon examining Jesus’ resurrected body, Thomas went from skeptic to believer. There was such a change in Thomas that it can only be explained by one thing, he had actually seen the risen Christ. Thomas went on to preach the Gospel all over Asia, eventually being killed in India for refusing to deny the resurrection of Jesus.
Blessings on those who do not see yet believe
Jesus blesses Thomas for believing, but He offers a special blessing on those who believe even though they have not seen. Jesus has not physically appeared to all men and women. As such, we are left to accept the resurrection based upon the testimony of God’s Word. This is in accordance with everything we know about God. God needs nothing from us; all we can do is simply believe His Word.
Thomas declares that Jesus is God because no human being can raise himself from the dead. This is John’s whole reason for writing. He wants those of us who have not seen to believe that Jesus is the Divine Messiah. It is only through faith in Jesus that we can have eternal life.
Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus? Does Thomas’ testimony strengthen your faith? Will you be comforted by the knowledge that Jesus has given us eternal life through faith? Will you proclaim Jesus to the world the way that Thomas and John did?