A Faithful Thomas
It's one thing to look objectively at the facts of Christianity. It's quite another thing to open your life to the blessed Spirit of God and let Him prove to you that God is real.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Did you survive all of the rush and the hurry of the past few days? I trust so, bless your heart.
Now, John chapter 20. Our Lord Jesus had appeared to the disciples but there was one absentee, Thomas, one of the 12 called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. Absenteeism in spiritual things robs you of a great many blessings. You say to yourself, “It won’t matter if I don’t show up, it won’t matter if I don’t say my prayers, it won’t matter if I miss reading God’s Word today, it won’t matter if I skimp on this, or that, or the other spiritual duty.” The point is, you get cheated. God is still the same, He didn’t move. But you get cheated when you’re a spiritual absentee. Mark that down, would you, in the notebook of your mind and think about it sometimes?
Thomas wasn’t with them. So 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.”
Now he was a realist, you can’t blame him for that. He’d been there evidently, during those dreadful hours when the Lord Jesus Christ was suspended, His entire bodily weight suspended by the spikes that had been driven through the heel of His hands, between the hand bones in the wrist probably. Thomas evidently was there, he knew how those tremendous spikes tore into the flesh. He knew how that Roman spear tore open the side of the Lord Jesus, broad-bladed spear, probably. So you hear him saying, “Except I shall put my finger into the print of the nails and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.” He said, “I saw Him there, I saw what they did to Him, I saw how that spear just tore open His body, and I saw Him buried.” Yeah.
You see, the point is, God’s dealings always go beyond human perceptions. Have you made up your mind to that yet? God’s dealings always go beyond human perceptions. Paul says it this way, “The natural man,” that means just the old, Adamic, human being person. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” Can’t even begin to understand spiritual things, because they are spiritually discerned. And if you haven’t got the mind of Christ, if God hasn’t begun to think His thoughts through you, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, then you aren’t able, you aren’t able to take in, you see, the things of God.
Well, the psyche of man does not receive that of the Spirit of God. Moria. M-O-R-I-A. Related to our word “moron”. It’s moronic to him, foolishness, because neither can he know them, because they are known “pneumatikos” of the spirit. We get our word, pneumatic, and then pneumatic tires is an inflatable tire. “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.” Inflated like a flat tire, inflated with God’s blessed fresh air.
You see, don’t blame the unsaved person for not taking it in until the Holy Spirit of God enlightens him, ’cause he just can’t. And so we don’t blame Thomas. He was a realist, and he was reasoning on the basis of human perceptions. He had seen the crucifixion, he had seen the gaping wound in the side, he knew that those spikes and hands and feet had torn great holes in the flesh, and he said, “I’ll believe, alright, you say you saw Him? I believe.” Well. I’m from Missouri, “Show me,” we often say. God turns it around, as we shall see in this very passage. God turns that around, He says, “You believe, and I’ll show you.”
I think it was Jim Rayburn, who is now with the Lord- he was used years ago in starting Young Life Campaign, evangelistic outreach to high school young people especially. And he and I became friends back in the ’40s. I saw him one time and he said, “Do you believe God’s Word?” I said, “Of course I do.” He said, “What portion of it did you believe today?” Well, sort of threw me a curve, because I’d had had my devotions, alright, I was glad for that. I had said my prayers and read some of the Word of God, and then got busy about the business of being a minister. The 1001 tasks that a pastor is supposed to do without anybody asking him to, or saying thank you for that matter.
And so here was this visiting man, sitting across from me, looking earnestly at me, and saying, “What portion of God’s Word did you believe today?” And he went on to discuss the fact the word “believe” actually has the idea of commitment to it. To believe, not only intellectually, in its truth. I believe that two and two equal four. Not only intellectually believe in the truth of a proposition, but to commit yourself to it. I often say, “Faith is the quality of risking the situation on God.” To believe means to be willing to risk a situation on what God has said in His Word. You see, it’s one thing to look objectively at the facts of Christianity. It’s quite another thing to open your life to the blessed Spirit of God and let Him prove to you that God is real.
Well, Thomas said, “I’ll not believe.” A week went by. Between Verse 25 and 26 of John chapter 20, there’s a whole week. “Again,” it said, “After eight days, again His disciples were within,” and now Thomas was there, “Thomas with them.” “Then came Jesus.” The door’s been shut, He didn’t knock. He just appeared. And stood in the midst and said, “Peace be unto you.” Then said He to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, behold my hands, reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side. Be not faithless, but believing.” The body that our Lord Jesus bares in His resurrection form still has the wounds. Remember that, John speaking of our Lord Jesus said, “I beheld a lamb as it had been slain.” John The Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God that beareth away the sin of the world.”
John the beloved disciple said, “I saw in the heavenlies a lamb as it had been slain.” Jesus our Lord is to all eternity God’s slain lamb, and He bares for you and for me those precious wounds, in hands, and feet, and side. They’re there as mute evidence of God’s eternal love for you and for me. Well, we’ll take up Thomas and the situation the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, oh may we believe Thee, so that Thou canst show us Thy power. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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