On the first day of the week after - the resurrected Jesus showed Himself to His disciples, commissioned them and breathed on them, saying, ‘receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:19 -22). However, Thomas was not with them and therefore missed out on a great experience. Was this a result of sullen despondency? Had his master’s death hit him so hard, leaving him discouraged and feeling defeated? Could it be that he was so disappointed that he felt like being alone to reflect and take stock since all he had hoped for was now gone? “What a waste of time this has been, and where do I go from here?” he must have thought - For him it was the end of the road.
This is what happens to most of us when we hit a rough patch in our lives; we tend to recoil into solitude, not knowing that it only makes things worse by feeding discouragement and self-pity. We are then tempted to stay away from church or fellowship with friends; we end up missing our visitation when Jesus appears in meetings and services that we should have attended.
Worse still, even when Thomas eventually resurfaces (thank God, he did - because some people tend to completely disappear), he does not believe when his friends tell him they had seen Jesus. Consumed by doubt and resignation his response is, “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 not believe.” (John 20:25). He wanted physical evidence before he could believe. Like someone once put it, doubt is an intellectual problem, where belief is influenced by sense and carnal reason. Thomas could not believe a word about the resurrection because it did not make sense to him.
Are we not in many instances like Thomas when we fail to believe both the written and spoken word - until we have seen? Well, Jesus does him a favour and makes a second visit to his disciples so that Thomas may believe. He straight away walks to him with the evidence for which he has been waiting. Thomas sees and touches Him, and Jesus says to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29). In other words, is your faith in your eyes and your hands? Have you ever seen someone who says to, let me see - by wanting to touch? This is because most people's faith is in their 'hands' - THEY MUST TOUCH TO BELIEVE.
We cannot afford to give God conditions before we can believe, rather we need to be counted among the blessed by simply believing His Word always. That is the essence of faith, for if you can see it, then you do not need to believe. That is why we are called believers - otherwise, we end up becoming ‘unbelieving believers.’ We need to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Remember, Jesus said ‘All things are possible to him who believes’ (Mark 9:23). He also stated that, if we believe, we will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22).
Therefore, let’s purpose to believe in Him right away and not because we have seen. Like Sarah, we need to be confident in the one who promised, casting away our doubts and believing His every Word- for He is faithful and will bring to pass whatever we believe (Hebrews 11:11).
Go ahead and believe for you will surely behold that which you are expecting from the Lord. Evict that spirit of doubt, it won’t do you any good. Thomas got another chance, you may not.