Do Not Be Unbelieving
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"
Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
John 20 is Jesus’ lesson to us on the basics of Resurrection Life — the life in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is ours to partake of now, if we will so choose, and when we reach verse 24, we come to the story of Thomas, called ‘The Twin’, meaning that he was called Thomas. His name means ‘twin’, or ‘two’. It therefore seems right that he is known as ‘Doubting Thomas’, because he was in two minds about the truth of the Resurrection.
Jesus says to him Do not be unbelieving, but believing. This seemed to me to be overstating the point somewhat, but I know that every word in Scripture is there for a reason. It seems obvious that you are believing if you are not in unbelief, but for our Lord to say it in this way implies that there is a middle ground, a prevarication between belief and unbelief. That half-way house must be doubt, or “I believe, but…”. Jesus is saying that there can be no buts.
We either go into this with our whole heart afire with faith, or we be not faithful. The Lord knows why we can struggle with faith and look for proof to convince us that we are doing the right thing — but that is not faith. Jesus says to Thomas that he is blessed because he has seen Jesus. Thomas has his proof. However, many more have not seen, but have faith and belief through hearing only. Hearing by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is giving us a major lesson here, in what it means to follow Him. Hear His word and obey it. It is only by obedience to the Word of God that we can enter into His kingdom; His presence and His rest.
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS
HEBREWS 3:16-19 and HEBREWS 4:1-3
For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?
Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?
And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
"So I swore in My wrath,
'They shall not enter My rest,'"
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
BE STILL MY SOUL (IN YOU I REST) — Kari Jobe
PRAYER requires DISCIPLINE
WE ARE ALL Pharisees until we are willing to learn to intercede. We must go into heaven backwards; that phrase means we must grow into doing some definite thing by praying, not by seeing. To learn this lesson of handling a thing by prayer properly is to enter a very severe school. The duty of Christians is not to themselves or to others, but to Christ.
[from ‘If You Will Ask’ by Oswald Chambers]
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART