Today’s scripture is: John 20:24-29 The Message (MSG) 24-25 But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” 27 Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” 28 Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” 29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
When I first read this, I think of how gracious Jesus is to Thomas. He doesn’t walk into the room telling Thomas how weak he is for not believing... how upset He is at him for not believing...or how disappointed He is with him. He directs His attention to Thomas and gives him a unique opportunity to touch Him and see for himself that it’s really HIM. He has compassion on Thomas even in his unbelief. But I believe Jesus knows that Thomas needs to believe! He needs to be totally IN on this thing or he won’t be the disciple that Jesus needs him to be. So it wasn’t just for Thomas’ sake that Jesus came to Thomas... it was for the Kingdom’s sake.
I believe He does that with us too. I think we can hear from Jesus, or receive from Jesus, or have a powerful encounter with Jesus and “think” it’s all about us. But even though Jesus loves us and has compassion on us and does want to reveal Himself to us... how often do we miss the Kingdom value in what He’s doing in our lives? Do we hold those moments so close that we forget to be changed by them? Forget to share them? Forget to grow from them? Forget to give God glory for them? Forget to use them as light in a dark world? Forget to ACT on them?
I wonder how often I’ve missed the Kingdom value of situations in my life. How often have I celebrated what God has done... but not really done anything about it? Maybe I told someone about it... but then tucked it away in my little bag of “thank you Jesus encounters”. I want to think bigger than that. If Jesus has answered a prayer, or given me a gift, or blessed me with a special connection with Him... I want to do more than just share the story with someone. I’m not saying that this isn’t good... it is and that’s where you start! But what if Jesus wants me to do more than that? I won’t know unless I ask Him. I want to say, “My Master! My God!”, like Thomas did... then go OUT and do something with that encounter. I’m not sure what this would mean... but I have a very creative God! Can you think of a time when you received something special from Jesus (a special touch, encounter, gift, opportunity, etc.) and were able to do more than just talk about it?
By the way... I’ve learned that according to church history, Thomas went all the way to India to bring people to Jesus! Can you imagine witnessing and sharing Jesus there... and in those days? Incredible! “Doubting Thomas” received a special gift from Jesus... and was empowered through it. He went to India and established Christianity in the South Western parts of the sub-continent.. and he was martyred for it. Talk about making a difference for the Kingdom!
This is what the Holy Spirit brought to my mind today - so thought I’d share it and see what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts -