Read: John 20:24-31
Faith has lost its validity in our society. We put our trust only in the things we can see, hear, taste, and touch. And for the things we can’t—things like gravity and dark matter—we come up with reasons why they must exist. Modern Christianity has not escaped this mindset. We too have taken up reason and logic to describe the phenomena of our Scripture; and yet, holes continue to appear.
In today’s passage we find the disciples eight days after their encounter with the risen Jesus, still locked up in their house. It seems that the declaration that Jesus was going to send them, found in the previous verses, had not quite sunk in. Thomas missed their first encounter with the risen Jesus and couldn’t bring himself to trust their account of the event. He could not logically affirm the idea that Jesus had come back to life. He boldly declared that he would not believe, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side” (John 20:25).
While Thomas’ isn’t exactly portrayed as a role model here, I think it’s profound that Jesus chose to manifest Himself in the flesh to Thomas. He allowed Thomas to touch and feel Him; and it’s not a totally restored body that Jesus had Thomas feel, it was a body that still carried scars. It’s through His scars that Jesus allowed Himself to be identified by Thomas, giving him exactly what he asked for and needed.
Don’t miss this beautiful picture. Even in our doubt and pain, Christ can meet us where we are. Through locked doors and drawn curtains. Through pain, abuse, addiction, suffering, even through death, Jesus approaches individuals and reveals Himself. Jesus meets us in our pain because He can identify with us. In our suffering, the still scarred body of our Savior reminds us that He knows our pain intimately. Pain isn’t a blockage to our knowing God, in many ways it’s a conduit to knowing Jesus. This is how faith is made possible, not through an intellectual ascent to higher levels of reason, but through the intimate knowing of our Savior.
Take some time and consider which areas of your life have you been doubting God in? Are you challenging God to prove Himself but are not willing to turn in His direction. At the end of the day, it is He that calls and we follow, not the other way around. Go to Him, “taste and see”, and let your heart be open to the Lord’s voice. Reflect on how these things and consider how they can help you identify with Christ in deeper ways.