Have you ever been told something, and you just couldn’t believe it was true? Maybe one of your friends won a huge prize in a contest or something. It was wonderful but yet hard to believe it happened. You may have seen a copy of a book called Ripley’s Believe It or Not at school or in the library. It is a book filled with examples of things that seem impossible but are really true. It was even on television as a weekly show for a while. Well, something almost impossible to believe (or so he first thought) happened to one of Jesus’ disciples named Thomas.
It was the Sunday after Jesus was crucified (Easter Sunday), and His disciples were together in a locked room in a local house. They were hiding there because they were afraid that Jesus’ enemies would hurt them too. The Bible tells us that, even though the doors were locked, Jesus came in and stood there with His disciples. As you can imagine, the disciples were very, very happy to see Him. After all, they thought He was dead.
One of the disciples, whose name was Thomas, was not there with the others when Jesus appeared to them. We don’t know why Thomas wasn’t there, but when the other disciples saw Thomas, they told him that they had seen Jesus, and Jesus was alive. Thomas didn’t believe them. In fact, he said, “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 will not believe it.” (John 20: 24-25)
A week later, the disciples were in that room again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were still locked, but the very same thing happened: all of a sudden, Jesus was there standing in the room with them. Jesus turned to Thomas and said, “See My hands; put your fingers here. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20: 27) But Thomas didn’t need to touch the wounds. He fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “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 come to believe.” (John 20: 28-29)
A lot of people still won’t believe that Jesus really rose from the grave and helps us even today because they haven’t seen Him with their own two eyes. Do you know what though? It is true whether they believe it or not! We have to accept Him by faith. Faith is believing in something even though you can’t see or touch it. That is sometimes hard, but if we ask Jesus to help us believe, He will. We can always count on Him to be with us and help us when we need Him, especially in days like these with scary thoughts of this virus.
Let’s say a prayer thanking Jesus for that very thing. Jesus, thank You for always helping us with our doubts and fears. We know we can always count on You to be there for us and help us grow in our faith to believe that You are alive and with us every day. Don’t let us be a “Doubting Thomas.” Be with those who are scared or sick or grieving now. Help this virus to go away soon. In Your name we pray, Amen. “
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.