Thomas had seen amazing things in his life.
He was a disciple of Jesus. He knew miracles. He had heard the teaching. He had walked closely. I doubt that he had ever planned to move away, to give it all up, to keep his distance.
He had seen awful things. That was his reality.
The situation was impossible. That was his reality.
He was someone who knew a lot of information – but not the whole story. After investing so much time with Jesus, he was struggling with all that he had seen and come to a dead end. He was not prepared for any more miracles even though he had seen them first-hand! Hearsay and other people’s tales – even close friends – were not enough for him now. Even after travelling the journey so far, he was doubting and keeping his distance.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples Thomas was not there. He had not given up on their friendship – but for some reason he had not attended the meeting. A week later he was openly declaring, “I will not believe!” yet he had at least got this far…
- He was with his friends – who cared about him
- He had chosen to meet up
Jesus turned up (rather unexpectedly) and spoke to him personally. He had a word and a miracle. Clearly, although Thomas had no knowledge or feeling of Jesus being present earlier, here was evidence that he had been present and heard every word.
“Stop doubting – and believe!”
You do not have to feel God’s presence for him to be there. He is simply there!