John 20: 19-31
In today’s passage, John seemed to understand doubting Thomas. In addition, Jesus did not dismiss Thomas from the circle of his disciples for failing to trust what the others had told him. Jesus made sure Thomas was included in that circle by coming back and repeating the whole scene a second time for doubting Thomas alone.
Thomas was the character, a man who always said “no” when others said “yes.” We would imagine that doubting Thomas was a brave and literal-minded maverick who could be counted on to do the right things, but only after he had convinced himself that it was the right thing.
Well, it sounds familiar when I hear this—Texans do and say whatever they want to do and say. Texans hate to obey when someone tells them what to do.
When the disciples hid themselves in the room for the fear of the Jews, Jesus came and visited them. Jesus, who had every right to punish them for betraying him, had not said, “Shame on you,” but said, “Peace be with you,” instead. Jesus had healed the disciples with those words, “Peace be with you.”
Now, here we are. We all were not there when the risen Jesus made sure doubting Thomas was to believe who he really was. Yes, we are the ones who have never seen Jesus in the flesh,
and will never lay our eyes or our hands on Jesus in the flesh. We are the ones who have only testimony of others to rely on—people who were there, even though they are now long dead.
Only a few saw Jesus in the flesh either before, or after, his resurrection. However, millions of people have discovered Jesus, not in the flesh, but in the stories. We are free to believe them or not, but one thing today’s passage tells us is that seeing is not superior to hearing.
What is more, we, who read and believe this Scripture as the word of God, are all called to be co-writers for this ongoing task, not only passing the holy stories to our next generations,
but also making those holy stories to be carried, seen, and heard with us. It is because the risen Jesus is still alive in us, with power to make us sometimes weep, rejoice, hope, and act.
“Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side.” Can we really do that? No. Jesus is not here with us in the flesh.
Can the story make us feel as if we can? Yes, but not unless we open ourselves up to believe the scripture as the living word of God, which is all about bringing us to a new life, a new beginning, and another forgiveness.
Let’s keep being a part of God’s holy stories as co-writers.
Thanks be to God.