Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. ~John 20:27-28
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was running up some marble steps when I accidentally slipped and fell face forward. Even though I used my hands to help cushion my fall, my forehead hit the edge of a couple of steps in front of me. I didn’t think it was that bad until a couple of minutes later, I developed an egg-shaped bump on my head! As I touched this bump, it was somewhat frightening to me, and I started to get scared about what happened. Fortunately, I was given a bag of ice to place on this bump, and soon the swelling went down and disappeared. I will never forget touching that ugly bump and the thoughts that went through my mind. This morning, we are looking at an incident where a touch changed a doubting faith.
We see a skeptical CONVERT.
Thomas was not present on that resurrection evening when Jesus appeared to the disciples. The sadness of His death had paralyzed all of His men. It could be that Thomas was questioning the reason for Jesus’ death and whether he even wanted to be associated with the others. Thomas’ reaction to the testimony of the other men having seen Jesus was, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Thomas epitomized the typical Jew: let me see first, and then I will believe! Thomas is frequently referred to as “doubting Thomas” because of his skepticism. Are you doubtful and skeptical like Thomas about God’s power and ability?
We see a softened CONSCIENCE.
Jesus came to the disciples the second time, but this time Thomas was present. Thomas was shocked beyond measure to see the physical, but glorified presence of the Lord. The Lord commanded him to touch the wounds in His hand, and thrust his hand into the wounded side. I imagine Thomas obeying the Lord’s command with apprehension and fear. I believe that the touch of those wounds forever changed Thomas’ life. Thomas replied, “My Lord, and my God.” The touch affected his conscience. His ability to discern was transformed. His desire for a holy walk with God became his highest goal in life. The touch of those wounds delivered him from the hardness through the deceitfulness of sin.
We see a strengthened CONFIDENCE.
Thomas was not only changed in his conscience, but he was also changed in his faith. The touch of the Savior’s wounds etched into his heart the great suffering, sacrifice, and substitutionary atonement in the Lord’s death for every sinner. He could not escape the thought that those wounds were for “my sins.” Jesus said to him, “Be not faithless, but believing.” The strength of our faith is in proportion to our touch of those wounds. When Thomas cried out, “My Lord, and my God.” he declared he would be a man of faith from that moment forward.
We see substantial COMPULSION.
The touch of those wounds affected Thomas in every way. He was changed in his humility. There would be many times the memory of that touch humbled him and made him realize how unworthy he was to be a disciple of the Lord. The touch of those wounds affected his praying. He would become a fervent warrior of prayer. The touch of those wounds affected his zeal in witnessing. Tradition tells us that Thomas eventually went to India to spread the gospel and start churches. It was there he met the cruel fate of martyrdom. The zeal of his faith compelled him as a one of the great flaming evangels of his time.
Take a moment this morning to read Isa. 53 and Matthew 27 to revisit the crucifying of our Lord. As you do, touch the wounds in His hands, feet, and side; and let it do to you what it did for Thomas. It could be you will say in your heart, “I can feel it.”
Have a convicting God Morning!