Read: John 20:24-29
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Poor Thomas. The other disciples called the women’s account of the empty tomb an “idle tale,” and then got to see Jesus among them before they believed. They all had the same amount of skepticism before actually witnessing Jesus. Peter, who at least had the willingness to run down to the tomb, still ran to the tomb to see for himself. No one (at least no one we read about) believed before he saw for himself. And then there are the men on the road to Emmaus that we read about yesterday who saw Jesus but did not recognize him. They saw and still didn’t believe!
We have been considering the resurrected man, Jesus. The flesh and blood that left the tomb and spoke and ate and showed Thomas his wounds was undoubtedly human, but something else, too. This passage reminds us of another fact about Jesus’ corporeal body: it only remained with the disciples for a short time. Jesus imparts the Holy Spirit to the disciples and then is “carried away” to heaven a few weeks later. So how many people actually got a chance to see the resurrected Jesus? How many billions of people were born after the disciples were long dead? Perhaps when Jesus says “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe,” he is not referring to Thomas but to us.