John 20:24-31 Grace in a critical moment

John 20:24-31
24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, 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.
26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27Then 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.
28And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Thomas was at a critical moment in his life as he was confronted with the resurrected Christ. The doctrine of the resurrection is a critical part of the Gospel.

  • In most accounts of the definition of the Gospel, the resurrection is carefully included.
  • When Paul was arrested and on trial, it was because of the doctrine of the resurrection.
  • When some tried to laugh him out of the pulpit (figuratively speaking) on Mars Hill, it was because of the doctrine of the resurrection.

In this passage, Thomas is at a critical moment because he is challenged by the resurrection. In this moment Christ is very gracious to him. It was not a scene of reproof like

  • God with Adam and Eve in the garden
  • Moses at the burning bush, or arguing over going back to Egypt
  • Job at the end of his trial
  • Christ with the disciples asking where their faith was

At such a critical juncture of his life with all of the others, who had gone from the depths of despair to the heights of joy, in meeting with the resurrected Christ, Thomas was in need of a great reassurance. When Christ came to him, He accommodated him in his time of doubting.

There are times when we doubt that don’t rise to the level of crisis. Because of the significance of the resurrection, Thomas had to be able to come to terms with it. How many have lost sight of the resurrected Christ and our great inheritance and been found to be of all men most miserable?

1 Cor 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Thomas was spiritually myopic and Jesus accommodated him and offered to let him reach in and touch His wounds. All this was done as a precursor to the next verses in which God extends His grace to accommodate us with physical evidence of His power and presence.

This is a moment of grace, giving something not deserved, because Christ reminded Thomas how blessed many more would have to be without such evidence.

2 Cor 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

The grace of God is truly humbling. There is no reason to become boastful of God’s special favor. Thomas’ response is one of true humility and gratitude. He did not dare to venture forward a hand to test out the wounds. He submitted himself and recognized Christ as Lord and God.

God knows when we are at our breaking points and when to give us that extra strength we need.

1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Ps 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

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