Reflections: St. Thomas, Apostle

Today’s Reading: John 20:24-29

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 42:1-25; Revelation 9:1-12

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!”
(John 20:27-28)

 In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It is a week after Jesus has risen from the dead and beaten our old evil foe of sin, death, and the devil. The disciples have locked themselves in again for fear of the Jews. Thomas is with them this time. On the first resurrection morning he was someplace else. Jesus’ first words to them, both on that first resurrection morning and now a week later were the same: “Peace be with you.” Jesus’ words to them were more than a polite greeting. Peace was a fact, a sure and certain reality. From the moment Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and gave up His life as our sinless sacrifice, we all have peace with God. Even Thomas.

Thomas’ situation was far more serious than “doubting.” He was unbelieving, rejecting Jesus and the gifts He brings. So Jesus does what He does so well. He calls unbelieving sinners to Himself. Okay, Thomas, here is what you need. Touch my hands; touch my side. And then Jesus said this: “Do not disbelieve but believe.”  With a word Jesus spoke faith into Thomas. 

Saving faith is not a product of physical evidence. It is not a product of human reason or the will of man. In what Dr. Luther wrote about the Third Article of the creed we confess: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him.” 

Jesus calls unbelieving sinners to Himself. His means are simple. He speaks, we believe. Paul reminds us, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Saving faith is believing what Jesus says. He said we are forgiven, and we are because He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. He said all who die in the faith He has given will rise again, because He was the firstborn of the dead. He said to Thomas, “Believe,” and Thomas did. 

Believing in Jesus, as Thomas did, always produces fruit. Jesus called Thomas from death to life and Thomas confessed, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus says, “Believe and be baptized,” and we are connected to Jesus’ death on the Cross. Jesus says, “Call on Me,” and we pray, and He answers, giving comfort and peace. Jesus says, “Take and eat and drink,” and we are forgiven. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.  

We may not touch His hands and side, Nor follow where He trod; But in His promise we rejoice And cry “My Lord and God!” (“We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight” LSB 720, st.2)

Rev. Randy Sturzenbecher is pastor of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, Black Hawk, SD. He is also the vice president of Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch