When it was evening ..... and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side, then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
But Thomas.... one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
A week later .... Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them....Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands.....do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said go him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
(New Revised Standard Version)
The story of "Doubting Thomas" brings back many memories for me. It was the subject for my first ever sermon in the 1970s, as a Lay Reader, in Biggin Hill parish church. Like all new preachers I put far too much into the sermon - there was enough for about five sermons, as I recollect. But what I also remember was how human Thomas seemed. Perhaps that's why I also like the Psalms, because they are composed of ordinary people who praise God, but also complain bitterly when they think God has got it wrong!
Jesus does not complain about Thomas' lack of faith, but simply points out that those who believe but who have never seen Him, are blessed.
We are blessed when we believe and when we live in faith; but equally we shouldn't beat ourselves up when we doubt. We need to remember to ask God to help our unbelief!
Lord Jesus Christ,
"I believe, but help my unbelief". *
When I feel alone and You seem far away,
when doubts fill my mind,
help me to have the faith to continue
talking to You and
living as You would want me to live.
*See Mark, Chapter 9, verse 24