As the men were settling in for the evening a loud knock startled them all. “Peter, John, guys open up! You’re not gonna believe this!”
Peter opened the door to find Cleopas and Barthos bent over catching their breaths. “I thought you two went home to Emmaus.”
Barthos stood and leaned against the doorpost with his forearm. “He joined us on the road. Taught us from the whole scripture that He had to die first.”
Cleopas staggered in and fell in a chair. “We didn’t recognize Him until He broke the bread for the meal.”
Peter motioned for Barthos to enter. He checked behind them to make sure they weren’t followed before locking the door. “Who are you guys talking about?”
They both looked at him. “JESUS.”
Barthos grabbed Peter’s shoulders. “We’ve seen Jesus. He’s alive I tell you. More alive than you and I, I’d say.”
Peter stepped back until he bumped against the other men in the room. Suddenly all of their mouths dropped open and their eyes widened.
The voice behind Barthos spun him out of his sandals. “Peace to you.”
From his position on the floor Barthos pointed at Jesus and looked at the men. “Here He is now.”
Jesus took a step forward. “Don’t be alarmed. It’s Me. Touch Me and see that I’m not a mere spirit. Look at My feet and hands, it’s really Me. Do you have anything to eat?”
Andrew handed Him a piece of broiled fish. Jesus took a bite, chewed and swallowed. While chewing His second bite He winked. “Bought this at the market. Didn’t ya?”
John rushed forward and stopped in front of Jesus. Jesus held His arms out. “It’s Okay, John. You can hug Me.”
John fell against Jesus’ chest, then hesitated as he felt the torn flesh on His back. Jesus patted John on the back and whispered. “Don’t worry, John. You can’t hurt me now. Nobody can.”
John wrapped his arms tightly. His tears soaked the shoulder of Jesus’ robe.
After John stepped back Jesus looked at the group of men. “As I told you before, this had to happen to fulfill all the scriptures concerning Me. My death and resurrection after three days are very much in the Father’s will. Stay in Jerusalem until you receive power from heaven. I’ll see you later.”
After Jesus vanished Nathaniel looked at Matthew. “Thomas isn’t going to believe this.”
Eight days later Thomas was pacing the room. “I know you guys say you saw Jesus here, but I still need to see Him for myself. If I can put my fingers in His nail holes and my hand in His side then I’ll know without a shadow of a doubt that He’s alive. Until then I’m just not convinced.”
Thomas stopped in his tracks when he noticed the shadows in the locked room shift. Then he heard an all-too familiar voice. “Peace to you.”
John stepped up and turned Thomas around to face Jesus. As John pushed Thomas forward he whispered in his ear. “Go ahead and touch Him. You can’t hurt Him and He loves you too much to hurt you.”
Jesus raised His hands to expose them. “Go ahead and put your fingers in the nail holes.” Then He dropped the robe off His shoulder to expose the wound in His side. “Place your hand in My side, Thomas. I did this for you.”
Thomas dropped to his knees and bowed his head. “My Lord and my God.”
Jesus knelt down and placed a finger and thumb under Thomas’ chin, gently lifting his head. “Now you believe because you’ve seen. Even more blessed will be those who believe without seeing.”
Thomas stared into the loving eyes he thought he’d never see again.
Doubting Thomas has always gotten a bad rap in my opinion. I mean how many others didn’t believe for sure until they saw Jesus in the flesh? Just because Thomas had at least ten other men tell him that they saw Jesus doesn’t mean he would automatically accept it as fact. He apparently knew how unreliable eyewitnesses could be in the court of law. If you expect him to simply follow the crowd you obviously don’t understand the type of individual you’re dealing with.
Perhaps Thomas was thinking back to another time in history when the majority was wrong. We read about it in the book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14. Remember the ten spies who said they couldn’t defeat the people who lived in the land God promised the Hebrews as they left Egypt? There were only two spies who declared that with God on their side the inhabitants didn’t stand a chance of winning.
The Apostle Paul insisted that this is some kind of inherited condition Thomas had to work through. 1 Corinthians 1:22a ‘Jews demand miraculous signs.’ Or perhaps Thomas was originally from Missouri, the ‘show me’ state. You gotta admit it would definitely be easier to lead people to Christ if He was still among us healing diseases and raising people from the dead. But then, where would faith come into play?
The best definition this Webster has found is Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Re-read that slowly. Now do it again. Do you see why it’s such a difficult concept for the vast majority of people to grasp? They’re being asked to bank their future on inanimate, unproven theories
Those of us who have taken that step have experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and we’d never want anything else. But, Thomas didn’t have even that going for him. Now do you see why I think he ‘s been getting a bad rap?
So if you want to be more blessed than one of the men who followed Jesus while He walked on this dirty Earth for three years. Take that step of faith today.
I’ll see you later. Wade