24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 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.” 27 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:24-29 ESV
I’ve always thought Thomas got a raw deal. Part of it is because my name is Thomas, so I heard many comments about whether I was a “doubting Thomas.”
And Thomas seemed to me to be held somewhat in disdain because “he didn’t believe in the resurrected Messiah from merely hearing about it from the other disciples.”
Therefore, being a “doubting Thomas” had a negative connotation, if not denotation [implied, if not stated].
A New Point of View
But today I have a different point of view.
I admit it.
I am a “doubting Thomas.”
When I became a “committed Christian” (from being a pew-warming “casual Christian”), I began to actually read the Bible.
Yeah, I went to church as a kid, including Sunday School, every week.
Yeah, I went to Vacation Bible School each summer. (Usually several different ones. Hey, Mom had to keep the kids busy, right?)
Yeah, I knew the Bible stories: Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Samson, David and Goliath, the Nativity, turning water into wine, the loaves and fishes, and more.
But when I started reading and studying the Bible, questions began to emerge.
I began to see a disconnect between what I had been, and was being, taught in church.
I began to ask:
- Where does it say that in the Bible? (When babies die and go to heaven they become little angels.)
- Is that what that word/ verse/ passage really means? (Is Peter the rock that the church is built upon? Or is the revelation given to Peter – that Yeshua/ Jesus is the Son of the Living God, the Messiah – the foundation of the Church on earth? See Matthew 16:15-18)
- But that is not what the Bible says. (The Temple was not built by David. [Yes, I have heard, from the pulpit, that King David built the Temple!] Rather, it was built by David’s son Solomon. See 1 Kings 6.)
I sought to know God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit personally, by my own experience, and not through the experience or say-so of others.
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,/em> 2 Peter 1:2, 3 ESV
I compared various Bible translations and versions in order to understand more of the surrounding connotations of the verses and passages.
I used the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible NASB to check out the definitions of the words in their original language.
I even went to lectures and seminars at the local Jewish synagogue. (Hey! Jesus was a Jew. Who knew?)
I wanted, and continue to want, to know the Truth for myself.
But Hey, Back to Thomas
But notice that Thomas wasn’t the only one who saw the hands and side of Jesus.
19 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.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. John 20:19, 20 ESV
In verse 20, “he showed” in Greek is edeixen (1166) from deiknumi (1166): point out, show, exhibit, demonstrate. (See http://biblehub.com/greek/1166.htm)
Therefore, Jesus exposed His wounds to the disciples to see.
However, Thomas wanted to experience for himself what the others had experienced. He wanted to “see” for himself, to have the experience of seeing the hands and side of the Messiah/ the Christ.
Thus, in verses 25 and 29, Thomas and Yeshua each use forms of the Greek horao (3708): behold, see, look upon, experience.
- Verse 25 “I see” Greek: ido (3708):
- Verse 29 “you have seen” Greek heorakas (3708)
- Verse 29 “having seen” Greek idontes (3708)
Yes, Jesus did say: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29b ESV)
And, Christians of today must believe without seeing.
However, I think we are to “see” Yeshua/ Jesus through the Bible. We, too, are to “see,” for ourself, the “hands and side” of the Messiah/ the Christ. We are to know the Word (Logos) through Scripture, the Word of God.
So, Now What?
So, now I want to share what I’ve learned, and what I am learning.
I invite you to join me in this journey of discovery.
- Share this blog with others, whether they are doubting or not.
- Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!
Be a Berean!
10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:10, 11 ESV
epígnōsis1922 (from Strong’s Concordance number) 1909 /epí, “on, fitting” which intensifies 1108 /gnṓsis, “knowledge gained through first-hand relationship”) – properly, “contact-knowledge” that is appropriate (“apt, fitting”) to first-hand, experiential knowing. (http://biblehub.com/greek/1922.htm)