John 20:19-31; 1 John 1:1-2:2
April 15, 2012
Our gospel today gives us a picture of a church.
It’s a church which had no fancy organ, or even an old upright piano.
No choir. No pastor, even.
In fact, it’s a picture of a most miserable little gathering – how could they even take upon itself the name, “church.” We see the disciples of Jesus, gathered after his resurrection. Here, is the church at its worst — “scarred, disheartened, and defensive.”[Tom Long]
How can these fearful followers even be expected to keep on FOLLOWING a Jesus who had disappeared – not just dead but dead and gone – gone from their sight.
If only they could see him . . .
Seeing is believing -- right?
We just celebrated “He is risen!” last Sunday. Just like those disciples -- we have been told that Jesus is alive! Mary Magdalene went and told us, just as she “went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. She also told them what he had said to her.” The disciples that Upper Room mourned that Jesus was dead and gone; we celebrate that he is risen indeed!
How can they believe in a risen Christ they haven’t seen?
How can we?
And then there’s Thomas -- we know him as “Doubting Thomas” – we might more accurately call him “Honest Thomas” – he told the truth about his desire to see Jesus – and he told the truth about what it would take for him to believe – nothing less than seeing the nail scars in Jesus’ hands and touching them himself.
If only Thomas could see Jesus for himself . . .
Thomas wasn’t the only disciple who needed proof – ALL of the disciples were stuck in disbelief until they could see Jesus for themselves. Thomas was the only one who admitted his need for proof – Thomas was the only one saying what is obvious to us – seeing is believing.