My Lord and My God! Thomas Sees Jesus


Praise be to you, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In your great mercy you have given us new birth into a living hope
     through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! (1 Pet. 1:3)

I receive your Holy Spirit, the Resurrection-Spirit-of-life within me,
     and I attune myself to your work of awakening hearts, including my own,
     to experience your transforming love.

In Jesus’s name I come, amen.

John 20:24–29

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


The same strength that makes a firm doubter, when converted by Jesus, can make a doubly-firm disciple and a wonder-struck worshiper.

“There is always Thomas.” You might hear a phrase like this spoken when a sermon on doubt is being prepared and a preacher needs a fitting biblical character as a reference point.

Thomas, with his honesty and resistant heart, unwittingly became the poster-child of the incredulous, the questioning, the suspicious, the inconvincible, the doubtful skeptic waiting for hard evidence before giving a clear verdict.

And yet, is the nickname “Doubting Thomas,” the best way to remember him? One need only read John 20:28 a few times to realize that, no matter the story that preceded his declaration of faith, our precious brother should perhaps be better known to history as Easter’s “Worshiping Thomas”—an inspiration to us all.

A week had passed between that “first day of the week” and the encounter Thomas has with his risen Lord. All the other disciples have seen Jesus. The stories are spreading everywhere, and fast. Thomas, perhaps alone, is unwilling to believe them. He may even be concerned this resurrection narrative is getting out of hand.

Who knows why. Perhaps he is deeply hurt that he was not chosen to be among his friends that day when Jesus apparently first appeared, and his faith has shut off completely. Perhaps he is incredulous because he is a man of hard facts, and a resurrection, even of Jesus, is just too unprecedented and odd to believe.

Or perhaps, as it might be said of you and me on our worst days, Thomas simply holds to the adage that seeing is believing—even though he has been discipled into a kingdom where he’s come to realize that believing is seeing.

And how could he let his heart go there? To believe that Jesus is alive without seeing him is to invite the pain of his loss all over again. What if their sightings turn out to be the hysteria that can follow a traumatic event?

The page turns on the week of Thomas’s great distress.

Jesus enters the room, and Thomas is there this time.

Can we imagine the moment when, after Jesus says the same words he said upon his first revealing, “Peace be with you!” that he turns his gaze toward Thomas?

We sometimes read a tone of voice into texts when Jesus speaks. It’s not wrong to do so, but the tone we choose may have more to do with our own experience than with what we see in the text.

When Jesus speaks a word of love and kindness, we assume that his tone is soft and compassionate. But when we see him bring a word of correction to a disciple, sometimes we may read a harsh tone into the text when that tone may not necessarily be clear in the passage.

When I read the story of Thomas, I see a knowing smile on the face of Jesus. I see Thomas falling to his knees on the floor, and his loving Lord placing his hand on his face.

I hear Jesus say, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” with a tone of caring love, knowing compassion, and a firm invitation to engage the reality of resurrection.

Thomas’s words always ring with worship to me. “My Lord and my God!” That five-word response may have been whispered or shouted by Worshiping Thomas, but either way, his response carried in it the adoration I believe my own response would have held if I had been there.

Then, a teachable moment follows, again, I imagine, with a smile from Jesus and a knowing glance around the room to the euphoric disciples. “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Who are those who have not seen and yet have believed? You and I, that’s who.

You and I are blessed in a way that perhaps the first disciples never could be. We have not seen Jesus in the flesh, but, as Peter said, perhaps remembering Jesus’s words to Thomas and to them all that first Easter day,

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” (1 Pet. 1:8).


Risen Lord of the Worshiping Heart, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, what you have prepared for we who love you (1 Cor. 2:9). We look forward to the day when our own doubts and lack of faith are washed away in the light of the glory of your presence. Until then, may our faith increase, even though we see now through a glass darkly, until we see you, face to face (1 Cor. 13:12). In Jesus’s name, amen.


What doubts about Jesus and his current work in you and around you could you lay at his feet today? What do you think could happen if you became the most expectant and quick-to-trust Christian you know?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

One Response

  1. My husband and I are telling others about this glorious wake up each day!! Slowing down and focused on one scene at a time brings the WORD alive to us!! Thank you!

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