Jesus, Doubting Thomas, and You, Part 2 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 353)
TEXT: John 20:24-29:
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The 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.
26 And 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.
27 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.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 353.
William Sloane Coffin said, “Faith isn’t believing without proof; it’s trusting without reservation.”
When Thomas first heard that Jesus had risen from the dead and had made an appearance to the other disciples, he refused to accept that what they were saying was true. He said that he needed to see and touch Jesus for himself before he believed. While Thomas is often chided for his doubts, we have seen from this passage that, at the very least, he was honest about his unwillingness to believe. We have also seen how that in Thomas’ mind, his doubts were plausible without solid evidence.
Now, notice another positive aspect of Thomas’ story, and that is that, despite his doubts, he stayed with the assembly of believers. Verse 26 says that “after eight days again the disciples, were within, and Thomas with them.” Thomas did not abandon the other disciples altogether after he declared his unbelief. He remained with the believers. He knew that if Jesus were truly risen, He would return to those who belonged to Him, and he wanted to be there when it happened. Too often, those who have doubts or a “crisis of faith” after they have been saved for a while choose to leave the church to “figure things out.” They think that they can find answers out in the world, but that is simply not the case. While God can and does speak to people outside of the church, the assembly of believers is the primary vehicle thru which He makes His presence known in the world today. If you are having doubts about the things of God, the last thing you need to do is run away from the place where God makes Himself known. Rather, come humbly and prayerfully to where God speaks and give Him the opportunity to speak to you.
Because Thomas was in the place where Jesus made Himself known, His doubts were answered with resounding assurance. Verse 26 reads, “then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.” As I touched on previously, Jesus did not come with a message of condemnation for Thomas. He recognized that, though Thomas doubted, he was sincere. I think Thomas wanted to believe, but he just could not bring himself to take the leap of faith without what he thought was sufficient evidence.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe points out that “John 11:16 seems to indicate that Thomas was basically a courageous man, willing to go to Judea and die with the Lord! John 14:5 reveals that Thomas was a spiritually minded man who wanted to know the truth and was not ashamed to ask questions. There seems to have been a ‘pessimistic’ outlook in Thomas. We call him ‘Doubting Thomas,’ but Jesus did not rebuke him for his doubts. He rebuked him for unbelief: ‘Be not faithless, but believing.'”
At their meeting, Jesus extends His peace to Thomas. In this case, peace that assuaged his doubts and peace that set his mind at ease. “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.” Notice that Jesus gave Thomas permission to touch His wounds, but the Bible does NOT record that Thomas actually accepted this offer. Thomas SAW the wounds and believed, declaring Jesus, “my Lord and my God.”
Thomas was so overwhelmed that Jesus, God incarnate, would enter a tiny room and subject Himself to the examination of mere men that. In that moment, Thomas’ doubts were washed away. I think he was stunned at the SAMENESS of Jesus. The Jesus he saw before him in that locked room was the Jesus he had seen before the cross. The wounds from the beatings and the nails and the spear thrust proved that He was not an imposter. Thomas knew that Jesus in all His reality was standing before him, not just by His physical appearance, but by His demeanor and personality. Only Jesus, with all the power that He possessed, would offer His body for examination by one of His disciples. Only Jesus would patiently and humbly accept one of His disciples stumbling toward faith without judgment or condemnation. With Jesus’ few words and the presentation of Himself, Thomas realized that he needed to doubt no longer.
G.B. Timms wrote:
Here behold the love victorious,
Over death triumphant now,
See the feet where nails were driven,
And thy faith in him avow:
For he lives, the world’s redeemer,
Unto whom all knees shall bow.
Thomas looked upon the Master:
Was it then indeed the Lord?
Were those wounds no phantom tokens?
Did the sight with truth accord?
Scarce believing, joy unbounded,
Rose to greet the Saviour’s word.
Blessed Thomas, doubt no longer,
See the wounds in hand and side,
Now behold the risen Saviour
Who for thee has bled and died,
And from death’s dark pit arising,
Lives in body glorified.
Like Thomas, dear friend, you do not have to doubt any longer.. Jesus offers you peace through Himself. Through the Holy Spirit, He speaks to your heart, testifying of the authenticity of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Will you give your life to Jesus Christ today and experience the forgiveness that only comes from God? Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.