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John 20:24-31 (NIV)
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Thomas’ doubt is not necessarily a bad thing. In verse 31 it says that what is written about Jesus is for the faith and life of others who will not see and touch Jesus. That means Jesus appeared to “doubting” Thomas for our faith and life! We understand Thomas. The idea of resurrection is incredibly hard to grasp. But Thomas was not just doubting what his closest friends were telling him, he was doubting the life-giving promises of Jesus (see John 16:16-20). He shows that he believes in the finality and power of death more than the life-giving power of God. This is a daily struggle for us, too, in a world that constantly wants us to believe in death more than life. “Stop doubting and believe” is an invitation to trust that Jesus is far more powerful than any of the pain, suffering and death we see in our lives. It is an invitation to have “life in his name”.