When Jesus appeared to the ten Apostles in John 20:19, we can only imagine their natural exuberance and overwhelming joy when they actually "see" that their Messiah had truly risen from the dead. The Apostles later recount Jesus’ visit to Didymus Thomas who was not present when Jesus appeared, telling him that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead. However, Thomas does not believe them; in fact, he says the passage above recorded in John 20:25, earning him the 2000 year old nickname “Doubting Thomas.”
Have you ever spoken to someone about something extraordinary that you have seen and they did not believe you? Maybe it was a story of how God provided for you in a time of need; and yet, they simply did not believe. It is a little frustrating, because as an eyewitness and credible friend you simply expect for them to believe what you are telling them. Thomas, like most of us, does not really believe in the omnipotent power of Jesus Christ, until he experiences it for himself. He had to see it, to believe it! Yet, his response still seems a little bizarre coming from someone who had been an eyewitness to countless miracles, including seeing Jesus raise others from the dead.
After the Apostles told Thomas of their experience, we can imagine he may have wanted to believe, yet, in his heart he wanted proof. After all, why would Jesus show Himself to all the others and not to him! He needed proof! So, eight days later, after Jesus had ascended to His Father, He reappears to the Apostles once again; this time, Didymus Thomas is with them. The part I find absolutely fascinating is —Jesus came back for one person! He came back so that Thomas would have all the proof he needed to satisfy his belief. Jesus did not have to reappear to convince one disciple, but He did!
How do we know He came back just for Thomas? Because, when He first appeared to the Apostles He could not be touched; He says to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17 “…Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father….” When He showed Himself the second time to the Apostles, He could physically be touched! Thomas could physically touch the holes in His hands, and the holes in His pierced torso. And, just to be clear, Jesus says to him,
“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.” (John 20:27)
Jesus literally responds using the same words that Thomas used in his refusal to accept Jesus’ first appearance!
So, no matter what you may be going through, if you need an answer to something that may hinder your belief, know that Jesus will move heaven and earth to answer even one person --You! L.
Study Reference: John 20:17-31, Luke 15:4-6
From:"Returning, Just For One.." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Jimmy Chin /featuring climber Alex Honnold