“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-25 KJV)
Man, Thomas really gets a bad wrap for this. 🙂 In part, I think it is well deserved, but when you really stop and think about this situation, an interesting question comes to mind. Would you recognize Jesus if He presented himself in a fashion even as real as this to you? Clearly from Jesus’s response in verse twenty nine, Jesus is interested in people being able to perceive Him without going to this extent. He even pronounces a blessing for it. On one hand, in a day of deception, we want the best authentication methods possible. On the other, we gain so much when we can see Jesus, His Holy Spirit, and all that they are doing long before He arrives. I can think of one individual that I have repeatedly accused of being so deep in his theology that he could not pick the Holy Spirit out of a one spirit line up if he were hand cuffed and dragged downtown to identify him. In turn, I obviously have much to learn about meekness (fruit number eight of the Spirit – Galations 5:22, 23 KJV). Can we really identify God when we see Him? Not, can we manage to do all that is right or even do what is right when we can, although that has a certain value too; but can we listen long enough, seek with enough fervency, and dedicate our hearts and minds to His word faithfully enough to distinguish His love when we see it? Can we recognize even the opportunity to have God give us a teachable moment in how to implement love and come to a peaceable relationship? Not just to the poor soul on the side of the street, but to your spouse, your parents, to that brother-in-law that irritates you so, and that idiot on the job that does not know when to be silent. If something that He made is singing, can we hear it? If we are so determine to make things manageable, at what point do we surrender to Jesus? He has fixed the boundaries for the oceans (see Job 38:11), despite the counter claims of the climate change evangelists, so the difficulty is not getting X under control. The challenge is stepping back and listening for God’s instruction. It hurts one’s pride and it seems to deteriorate one’s productivity when we do that, but then again the eighth fruit of the Spirit is meekness (for which we are blessed – see Matthew 5:5) not our accomplishments.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3 KJV)