Verse: John 20:26-31
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
I saw something in reading this today that I hadn't noticed before. Verse 31. I always read it as detached from the story about Thomas because my Bible has a header in between them. But maybe it's more of a closing thought to the Thomas story. The outline is basically this:
- Thomas doubts the resurrection, and therefore, Lordship of Jesus.
- Jesus offers him evidence to help him believe.
- Jesus says, blessed are those who believe without seeing (that would be us!).
- John says, look, for all those who will have to believe without seeing, I've put together this book for you.
In other words, where Thomas got the body of Jesus as his evidence, we get the book of John (and the rest!). "But these are written that you may believe."
The whole section repeats the word "believe" six times. That is clearly the theme, and reason for John putting this story in there. He knew that if it was hard for Thomas to believe, it was going to be hard for us too. This sheds light on the purpose of the Gospels. They were written to show us Jesus so that we can believe and have life.
Moral of the story this morning? When we are wrestling with doubt, we can, like Thomas, go to the evidence. In our case, that evidence is the Gospels and Scripture. When we are doubting we can be grateful that John and the others wrote all this down for us to help us. We can look to the truth and be comforted in our doubt, and strengthened in our faith!