Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, 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 in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I think that it is so interesting how Thomas rejected the witness of his friends who had actually seen the resurrected Christ. In a sense Thomas was the first skeptic in a very long procession of skeptics. Every day it seems that I run across somebody else who rejects the testimony of first hand witnesses like John, the reporter for the account above. Somehow folks seem to think that it is "intellectual" to dismiss the eye witness accounts of the many who saw the resurrected Christ. In truth it is just an unwillingness to believe.
Jesus confronts Thomas, and modern day skeptics, speaking of his need to believe the testimony of those who actually saw him alive. He responds to Thomas' confession and infers that it does not take faith to believe something that you can feel with your hands or see with your eyes. Jesus rebukes Thomas for not believing the eyewitness accounts of his friends. He ends by speaking of the blessings that accompany those that have not seen yet believe the reports of eyewitnesses. I am one of those people.
Lord I believe the reports of the witnesses. Thank you for their first hand reports.