First off, our thanks to Fred who responded and it’s a pleasure to hear that Deeper Waters has helped you answer an objection. Hopefully tonight’s will do the same. We’re going through the New Testament to see what it says about the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re almost done with the gospel of John. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at John 20:24-29.
24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So 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.”26A 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!” 27Then 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.”
28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
This passage should be seen as the grand climax of the gospel. All throughout, John has been giving clues of who Jesus is, which are quite explicit, but here at the end, he is going to put the confession on the lips of one of his fellow apostles.
Thomas was the only one present when Jesus appeared and he’s doubtful. He won’t believe until he sees the marks where the nails were and puts his hand in his side, he won’t believe it. Little note here for when you dialogue with Jehovah’s Witnesses. The text says nails, and there wouldn’t be a mention of nails if he had been put on a stake instead of a cross.
Jesus then appears to them and tells Thomas to put his hand in his side and to see where the nails were. What was Thomas’s problem? It wasn’t that he wanted evidence. There’s nothing wrong with wanting evidence, especially with an event like the resurrection. The problem was he had it in the testimony of the men he’d spent three years of life with and still didn’t believe.
Thomas’s exclamation is here and it is clear from the text that he is addressing Jesus and the text would most literally be translated as him saying to Jesus, “The Lord of me and the God of me.” This would also be seen as a challenge to Caesar since this was how Caesar was to be addressed.
John leaves this as the final testimony to who Jesus is. When you reach this point, you are to realize that Jesus is the Lord and the God of this world. By his resurrection, all of the claims that he’d made in earlier chapters were true. Had he not risen, we could have easily identified him as a blasphemer and that would be that.
This is also a test I give of Christianity. If you can’t look at Jesus and say what Thomas said to him, then I see no reason you should call yourself a Christian. (Of course, I don’t mean physically look at him.) Jesus is to be our Lord and our God, in the Trinitarian sense of course.
Tomorrow, we shall conclude this gospel.