May 3, 2019
JOHN 20:26 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.” 27 Then 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Following John’s chronology, this reading falls a week after Easter.
He wants to experience this for himself. A week later, things are a bit calmer, when Jesus appeared the second time. He materialized right in front of Thomas inviting just the scrutiny that Thomas claimed he needed. In fact, it turned he didn’t need it at all. He was clearly Jesus, Thomas knew at almost a cellular level.
“My Lord and my God” is pretty clear where Thomas came down on the issue. Between Easter Day and Pentecost, there must have been some mighty long conversations, lectures and holy power point presentations as Jesus got the disciples ready to carry resurrection everywhere. Having done that, he ascended, instructing them to stay together and in one place (I like to think he smiled at Thomas when he said it) until the Spirit comes. They did and The Holy Spirit did. More about that later.
After Pentecost, Thomas went on down to Alexandria, sailed across the Indian Ocean never to return. The story is that he preached resurrection, lived resurrection and dispensed resurrection to the point a local priest (isn’t it always) brained him with a dye bat. You can think what you like about such tales and doubt much about them. However, in this case when the Portuguese arrived in Indian there were Christians there to meet them. In Goa, the church was a little odd by Western practice, but clearly they preached the same resurrection. They heard the Good News from our favorite doubter very soon after the resurrection. They called themselves Mar Thoma or Saint Thomas Christians. Though, I doubt he much cares any more about that doubting moniker, shouldn’t we at least give the guy a break. For crying out loud.
In hope, in spite of the facts.