google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Gems in the Gospel of John - Part 89

Gems in the Gospel of John
Part 89 - John 20:28
The Climax


Although no longer the largest diamond in the world the Koh-i-Noor is perhaps the most famous and the most beautiful. This verse, where Thomas says: ‘My Lord and my God’’ is the Koh-i-Noor of all John’s gems. John’s whole gospel is carefully constructed to climax at this point. He wants his readers or listeners to believe. He says so in the last verse of this chapter, 20: 31, where he says, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He doesn’t challenge them directly, hitting them over the head with a blunt weapon of some call to believe. Instead he gives them an example to follow.

I think Thomas has been unfairly treated in getting his nickname of ‘doubting Thomas’. We do not know why he was not there a week earlier so we should not judge his absence as something wrong. He was clearly of a personality that wanted to be sure. Perhaps he was the sharpest mind amongst the disciples; the first to realise something of what Jesus really was. He needed confirmation, but once he had it he was the one who first called Jesus God. What exactly he understood and thought that meant we do not know. It certainly wasn’t all the things that we think as the statement has gathered so many ideas to itself over the centuries. But what ever it was he then acted accordingly.

This was only one week after the resurrection of Jesus so there will have been much talk but probably also much doubt even amongst the disciples. We cannot claim such circumstances. It is now nearly 2000 years since Jesus rose from the dead; much has been said in that time both for and against the truth of what happened. It is probably true now that virtually all those who say they do not believe because they cannot believe something so unlikely actually do not want to believe because it will upset the nice even tenor of their lives.

Thomas reacted, as he should, to the action of Jesus. He had asked Jesus to allow him to explore the wounds – a rather rash and demanding thing to do. Jesus had allowed him to do exactly as he asked. The king of all the world allowed a subject to do exactly as he wanted.! But that is the way Jesus worked and works. He does not react against our demands but meets them whenever it is for our benefit that he do so.

Thomas did as he should have done and it turned his life upside down – as it may ours if we respond to Jesus as we should. There is a museum in the town of Taxila in northern Pakistan. They have a stone tablet in the wall saying Thomas was there on his way from Jerusalem to South India. That is a guess but a reasonable one as Taxila was, in those days, the major city lying on the direct routs between those two places. Thomas is credited with the foundation of the Mar Thoma church in South India. He made up for any doubts at the end of that first week with a great, and undoubtedly difficult , journey, the founding of a church in a totally new and far away country and, probably, his eventual martyrdom.

There is one other thing to notice here. It is that little word that appears twice in what Thomas said, ‘my’. He didn’t say ‘The Lord and God’, he didn’t even say ‘our Lord and God’. No, he said, ‘MY Lord and MY God’. He recognized that in front of him was the invitation to have a personal relationship with the Lord God in Jesus. God was no longer a far away abstract idea, to be worshipped and venerated but scarcely loved. He was to be spoken to almost as an equal, a senior equal to be sure, but someone to be treated in a quite different way from that which everyone had used previously when they were speaking to a far-off infinitely superior being
Good on you, Thomas. Would that we all would react like that to the call of Jesus.

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