In Touch with Jesus

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

April 11, 2021 – Second Sunday of Easter - John 20:19-31

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Some of you may have favorite parts from the gospels. I certainly do and today’s gospel is one of them. And it’s not just because I share the name of one of its main persons, the so-called “doubting Thomas.”

In fact, I believe that this characterization of Thomas is a bit of a put-down because I think of him as simply being very human and honest. He was less a doubter than a thinker, a person who wants more than just the word of others. He wanted to know on his own terms. He wanted to fully experience the joy of discovery, the satisfaction that comes from asking questions, seeking evidence and information, and then making up his own mind. I can appreciate that kind of person. Especially because there’s some of Thomas the apostle in me.

So, Jesus came to Thomas offering to him exactly what Thomas sought. Solid evidence that he was the same Jesus who suffered and was crucified (note the emphasis on the marks of his wounds) and that he was real. Very much alive and standing there before him.

He even invited Thomas to solidify his understanding and his faith by touch, a surer indication than simple hearing a word about Jesus. Of course, most who accepted Jesus, like you and me, do not have any experiences exactly like Thomas. We are encouraged by knowing that we too are blessed, having not seen as Thomas did, but still believing.

The gospel narrative also shows a direct continuity between the life and death of Jesus with his post-resurrection life. All of Jesus’s pre-resurrection experiences were still part of him after he entered his life as the Risen Christ.

This pattern of God’s creation will be the same for us. All the good that we do, all those moments of our lives that make us who we are right now, will be a part of our lives forever. This is part of the Easter message:

First, we recall and celebrate the risen life of Jesus. But there’s more. We also look forward to our own lives after we enter life after death with God, just as Jesus did. If we think that this is almost too wonderful to be true, we are understanding this correctly. Easter faith is not only believing that Jesus rose from the dead to new life, but that we will do the same. Alleluia!!   

©David M. Thomas, PhD   

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