Merry Friday by Parris
“Then said 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.” John 20:24
For some unknown reason we read in John that Thomas wasn’t present the first time when Jesus appeared to the disciples, when he spoke peace and showed them his nails and scars. What is interesting is that if Luke and John didn’t tell us about the scars, we likely would assume that a glorified, resurrected body wouldn’t have any.
When the other disciples told Thomas about Christ’s visitation, Thomas wasn’t too keen on believing their story. Did he feel humiliated to think he missed Christ’s visit? It’s in isolation that we miss the sight of the Christ! Whatever the case, he came out swinging defending himself and snapped back saying, “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 it.” (John 20:25)
How Jesus condescends to us on a daily basis to help our unbelief is beyond my understanding! Eight days later Christ makes another visit to the disciples and answers Thomas’s obstinate prayer, he offered him his scars. “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.”
Thomas reach forth your hands; …that is, make use of every way by seeing, feeling, and examining the scars in my hands, and the hole in my side, and satisfy thyself in the manner thou hast desired. The Passion calls his scars; “the blossom of his nails”. Spurgeon said, “My hearer, whensoever thy soul is clouded, turn thou to these wounds which shine like a constellation of five bright stars.”
It’s here I pause. Whatever Thomas saw or felt, it became that one moment in time where he finally awakened to the love of Jesus. What all did he feel, what all did he see? How deep did his hand go into his side or was the sight just enough? Sometimes we go backward just to move forward. Be not faithless but believing! See my hands Thomas!
John Calvin says, “For this reason it is called “a demonstration of things invisible or not seen,” and Paul contrasts it with sight, meaning, that it does not rest satisfied with looking at the condition of present object, and does not cast its eye in all directions to those things which are visible in the world, but depends on the mouth of God, and, relying on his word, rises above the whole world, so as to fix its anchor in heaven. It amounts to this: that faith is not of a right kind unless it be founded on the word of God, and rises to the invisible kingdom of God, so as to go beyond all human capacity.”
To those that don’t know, Thomas the Apostle went onto India where he was martyred for his faith. The eye that is sound sees light!
Jesus encourages us today when he says, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
See his hands…..