Pristine Grace

Just for Thomas
by Richard Warmack
Just for Thomas

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 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." - John 20:24-25

    When I was in false, self-righteous, work based religion, I can't count the number of times I heard messages and read Sunday school material with the subject of old "DOUBTING THOMAS". They appealed to this historic record to prove the folly of Thomas and his unbelief. They hammered him for not being present with the other disciples on "the first day of the week"for WORSHIP SERVICE, using that to chastise those who didn't attend church like they deemed necessary. Here's the thing they didn't emphasize - "Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews." These men weren't gathered there for WORSHIP! These disciples gathered in this room weren't filled with BELIEF - they were afraid and anxious that their fate would be the same as the One they had followed, saw die, and then discovered His body gone. They were in fact DOUBTING TOO. Yet Christ appeared in their midst, confirming to them what He had told them, and declaring to them what He had accomplished - PEACE - "came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you." Then Christ did for them EXACTLY what Thomas declared in the verses above - "And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you."

    Here's what I gain from this story - Christ's LOVE for ALL HIS SHEEP. Christ returned JUST FOR THOMAS - "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. 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. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed." How gracious, loving, kind, compassionate, and long-suffering our blessed Lord is with ALL THAT ARE HIS.