Thomas uttered one of the most profound statement of faith when he saw the resurrected Lord. To acknowledge His Lordship, we need to let go of our agenda, choose to have faith and see Jesus as He truly is.
John 20:24-31 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "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." 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." 28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
For a Jew to call someone "my Lord and my God" is blasphemous under any circumstances, but Thomas said it.
He started as a skeptic and a doubter, but ended up making the most profound statement ever - a declaration of his faith! Both words he used – Lord and God - were titles of deity in the Old Testament. He knew what he was saying. He was worshipping Jesus!
He was not even declaring Jesus as Lord and God, but as HIS Lord and God. It was very personal! The confession was significant. Transformation has taken place. He recognized Jesus. Faith changed him.
We are not changed because we attend church, or that we come from a Christian family. I’m changed because of my personal faith in the resurrected Lord and Savior! This is not just the cry of Thomas. It ought to be our cry too.
I came across this phrase in my reading this week - ‘Jesus AS Lord’. I’m used to ‘Jesus is Lord’ but not ‘Jesus as Lord’… and it got me thinking. It’s just a change of an ‘I’ to an ‘a’ but what a change! ‘Jesus is Lord’ can be understood in a general way – He is Lord of the universe, the One who rules. But when I say, ‘Jesus as Lord’, that puts a different light to it. It drags me into the equation. Is He my Lord? It becomes personal. Is He? Thomas moved from being a doubter to a believer, from a skeptic to a worshipper.
How can we move from a verse 25 Thomas to the verse 28 Thomas? He was a doubter because he had set certain condition in his mind – he wanted to SEE and TOUCH to believe. He wanted Jesus to prove that He is alive ON HIS TERMS. “I want to see those marks on His hands and touch the scars on His side. Otherwise, I cannot believe.” He had expectations. He set certain demands.
There were conditions; he wanted Jesus to prove something! He set the conditions. Jesus needs to re-appear, if Thomas is to believe. We don’t say it out loud the way Thomas did, but we do echo the same sentiments sometimes – we challenge Jesus to prove something. We want Him to prove Himself, to show that He is real, true and good.
One week later, the Lord appeared again. He is gracious, He is always gracious. He will show up again, just for Thomas. He spoke to him personally (v.27): “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.”
If that’s what you want, if that’s what can really satisfy you, then here I am; come, you can touch me and feel my scars!
Thomas did not take a step closer. He did not put his finger where the nails were, as he said he would. He did not put his hand to his side, as he said he wanted to. WHY? What happened to all those demands, those conditions? By now, he has already dropped them. What happened? FAITH has taken over. When faith takes over, he surrenders.
The Lordship of Christ has to do with surrendering our will to Him. The only words that Thomas could say came easy: “My Lord and my God!” A week ago, it would be very difficult. Now he was a surrendered man. He worshipped Jesus freely. All that he has been clinging on to – his demands, his agenda – has been given up. It doesn’t matter now.
Is there a personal agenda we are clinging on to? Do we ever want to be in control? Are we waiting for God to prove something? Just thinking out loud.