BULLETIN ARTICLE – 31 December 2017
Thomas’ personal confession is one that every person who considers John’s Gospel should arrive at. When Thomas came to the group of the other disciples, why did Thomas find it hard to believe their witness to him that they had seen Jesus? I think because the trauma of seeing his Master and Rabbi Jesus, wounded and pierced, dying on the cross, so utterly destroyed his faith of seeing Jesus again. How can there be any hope of seeing his Master again? When the risen Jesus appeared among the group of disciples a second time, Thomas unreservedly confessed Jesus as: ‘My Lord and my God!’
It was a cry of conviction. The first thing, I think, that led Thomas to his confession of his belief that it was indeed the Lord Jesus was when Jesus knew his thoughts. The Lord spoke directly to doubting Thomas, repeating to him the very words which Thomas had said to the other disciples. The Lord spoke to Thomas his exact words! Thomas was overwhelmed. Time and again, we have also been overwhelmed like Thomas when we read or hear the words from the Bible preached to the precise thoughts we were struggling with. At such moments, we share the same deep conviction that it is indeed “my Lord and my God” speaking to us.
It was a cry of repentance. It does seem that Thomas did not quite believe that the person who called him in the room to be the same Jesus who died on the cross. When the truth dawned on him, Thomas must have also felt deeply humbled and ashamed by Jesus’ gracious words, inviting him with the exact words of his demand for physical evidence. Instead of putting his finger into the print of the nails or his hands into His side, he worshipped: “My Lord and my God.” Indeed, as Jesus reminded Thomas and the other disciples: “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”, calling for greater humility to depend on Jesus fully based on His Words only.
It was a cry of wonder. The exclamation of Thomas: “My Lord and my God” is also an expression of that holy wonder that Jesus was assuredly his Lord and his God. Thomas ought to have known that all along during his many years of following Jesus. Had he not been present when Jesus walked on the sea, calmed the raging waves, healed the lame and made the blind to see, and many more miraculous deeds? Why had he not made the same declaration of Jesus as Lord and God then? Now he does know his Lord – beyond all doubt. Thomas sees the wounded and yet glorified Jesus and he is fully convinced that Jesus is God. Indeed, along our faith journey, that beyond all the answered prayers and miracles, like Thomas we need to behold Jesus as “my Lord and my God” with His nail pierced hands and wounded side full of grace and truth.
Like Thomas, we need to come to the place of worship beholding Jesus as “my Lord and my God” in conviction, repentance and wonder.