“Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side
Thomas often gets criticized for refusing to believe Jesus had risen from the dead; he wanted visible proof. But he simply did what ancient Israel often had done, what Nathanael had done (see John 1:44-50), what the other disciples had done (see Luke 24:36-43), and what we often do.
John writes that he assembled the stories of Jesus’ life into this gospel account so that all who read about him would “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” John’s reports of miracles and other events in Jesus’ life are medicine, in other words, for doubters from all times and places. God has preserved all these accounts to meet the needs of our wondering, wavering hearts.
The stories we’ve been exploring this past month testify to the reality of Jesus. From the whole collection of them, we learn that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that he is human—the perfect substitute for all of us who need salvation from sin and death. He is fully God and fully human. And he suffered real, physical torture and death, and then rose again—all for our sake.
Jesus addressed Thomas’s skepticism by showing his real hands and real wounds. Jesus addresses our skepticism through the Holy Spirit, who weaves into our hearts and minds the stories of Christmas, stories that point to God’s love for us all!
Thank you, God, for teaching, shaping, encouraging, correcting, and strengthening us through the stories of Christmas. In Jesus’ our Savior’s name we pray. Amen.
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