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Ordinary and Beloved

by | Apr 27, 2022 | Doubt, Faith, Trust

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. … Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, 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 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, I will never believe. Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you. Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'”

(John 20:19-20, 24-29 ESV)

Dear Thomas. He is a comfort to me, because he is so ordinary. He is not a man of great imagination, soaring faith, or extraordinary insight. He is a man. He is someone who was gone when Jesus came the first time—away at the market or out doing chores, who knows? And then he came back to spend a week listening to everyone jabbering, all excited, about the wonderful miracle they’d seen.

Thomas sounds rather annoyed to me. “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, I will never believe.” That’s the kind of thing you say at the end of a long and heated argument—a way to shut up your opponents once and for all. It’s not terribly tactful, but Thomas was probably done being tactful by that point. As far as he was concerned, either the whole group was crazy, or they were playing a cruel joke on him. And so matters rested—until Jesus came.

And He came first to Thomas. The minute Jesus finishes greeting the group, it’s a case of “Come here, Thomas; I have something to show you.” And Jesus settles his doubts once and for all. He quotes his exact words back at him: “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

Thomas believes. And so do I, and so do you—because Jesus sees our needs and meets them. He may take His time about it—He certainly did with Thomas. But He has not forgotten us. He has not given up on us. How could He, when He already loved us enough to die and to rise again for us, His ordinary people?

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your loving patience with me when I find it hard to believe. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you ever feel like other people have more than you—more faith, more love, more holiness?
2. What do you do when you feel “not good enough” in God’s eyes?
3. What does Jesus’ careful attention to Thomas tell you about His attitude toward you?

Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on April 21, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved

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