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【Message】 Thomas and Jesus

John 20:19-31

Second Sunday of Easter
April 11, 2021

The International Congregation of St. Agnes Church, Kyoto

 

Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, is often called “Doubting Thomas.” Because he would not believe the resurrection of Jesus until he saw Jesus with his own eyes.

But if we call him “Doubting Thomas” only, we may misunderstand him. He was a very sincere and earnest disciple of Jesus.

It is written in chapter11 of the Gospel of John.

“Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.”

The sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” Lazarus was critically ill.

“After having heard that Lazarus was ill, Jesus stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” Thomas worried about what Jesus will do.

Then after this Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”

Bethany of Judea was a very dangerous place for Jesus. The chief priests, the Pharisees, and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death. But Jesus said, “I am going there.”

Thomas was impressed with the words of Jesus. Truly Jesus loves Lazarus and he is ready to be killed.

Then Thomas said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

In the evening on the first day of the week, Jesus came and stood among the disciples and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 

They rejoiced when they saw the Lord. But Thomas was not with them when Jesus came.

So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

Thomas loves Jesus. He was sad. He was lonely.

“My Lord Jesus, if you are alive, why do not you meet me?”

But Jesus loves Thomas.

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 

Jesus came to meet Thomas. Thomas was in the darkness, but now he is in the light of the resurrection.

Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 

Jesus loves us. He comes to meet us and says to us, ‘Peace be with you.

Jesus is alive. We are now in the light of his resurrection. Amen.