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THOMAS AND JESUS, AFTER THE RESURRECTION!

JOHN 20:24-29

"But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 24:

Here is the Paragraph John left us, inspired of God. Jesus appeared to His Disciples, ten of them, the very evening of His Resurrection! One was absent, Thomas. "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:24-29

Today let's study the first Verse in this "pericope." Learn this word. It is pronounced "pe-rik'-e-pee." Accent the second syllable. It is a Greek term, meaning "to cut" all "around" something. It is a section of literature "lifted" from a larger section, specifically for further study. In Greek "to cut" is "koptein" and "around" is "peri."

Verse 24 indicates, "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came."

That first Sunday Evening, the Day of Jesus' Resurrection, when the Ten met for fellowship and reverent reflection, one of them was absent. Well, two really, but Judas had shown himself to be a traitor. He was now dead, having committed suicide. Thomas is the absent member.

The proper name "Thomas" is spelled "Thomas" in Greek. It is not translated into English, but rather transliterated. Borrowed letter for letter! The name means "twin" according to the lexicons. It has an Aramaic background. Aramaic is a language combining some Hebrew, some Greek, even some Assyrian and Chaldean too! Many Aramaic words and expressions are found in the New Testament.

Next, Thomas called "Didymus." The root "dis" in Greek means "two" and is usually defined as "two-fold" or "twain." Again, Thomas was a twin!

Double proof!

And the interesting fact is this, one of the twins got saved, the other perhaps never did! Thomas knows the Lord Jesus. His "twin" we never meet in Scripture!

Today if you are saved, even if other family members are not, delight in the marvelous Grace of God! Thank Him for putting you "in" the Lord Jesus Christ!

Back to our Verse for today, "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came."

The very first time the resurrected Jesus presented Himself to His Disciples, Thomas missed the Event! We are not told where he was, just where he was not! Whatever "excuse" he may have had, it was a poor one! Few things could have equaled the importance of being in that Meeting!

Thomas is really set behind in his faith by being absent that night!

Point being this, missing worship services can be a dangerous activity! Technically speaking, this was the first Sunday Night Service recorded in New Testament! Speaking of group worship, public worship, it's the first such event in Church history!

And Thomas missed!

We know why he missed too! He was discouraged! Depressed maybe! He just didn't "feel" good, with all that had happened concerning Jesus! And that kept him away from the Brethren.

But he was missing the very thing he most needed! So are we when we stay home from Church!

Be faithful to God's House! Here's how we are to live, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another." Hebrews 10:25

When the Text tells us that Thomas was not "with" them, it employs the Greek preposition "meta." It means "right in the middle" of the group! Not marginally related! Not out on the fringes somewhere! But rather, heartily "with them," physically too! Thomas' isolation that night retarded his spiritual growth at least a week, if not more.

Then, in closing today, notice the last subject-verb relationship in the Verse, "When Jesus came!" Any healthy saint of God would want to be present when that happens!

The verb "came" in Greek is spelled "erchomai" and means "to come" in this sense, "to appear" or even "to show" oneself. Here "erchomai" is expressed as an aorist, indicating finished action. Jesus came only once in that exact manner! It was a "one-time" situation! And Thomas missed the blessing!

That next Church Service, the one you are thinking about skipping, might be the one in which Jesus especially manifests His sweet Presence! Through the Holy Spirit of course, but nonetheless real and precious!

Don't miss Him!

He is alive!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 25:

Ten of the Disciples had "seen" the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!

He had appeared to them, physically and demonstrably, in a secluded room where they were gathered. "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and his side. " John 20:19-20

Thomas, one of the Disciples, was not present. He, for whatever reason, did not attend that meeting.

But, obviously sometime later, the Disciples saw him and related the good news! "The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." John 20:25

Notice they could not contain themselves! They had to tell! Such miraculous news is hard to suppress! The verb "said" is "lego" in its indicative imperfect active form. This sense of time suggests they kept on telling Thomas! They couldn't stop talking! One after another, or maybe all at once, they testified as to what had seen! Really, as to Whom they had seen!

And the verb "seen" is thrilling too. "Horao" really means "to stare at" something or someone! Jesus was the Focus of attention!

Such news did not impress Thomas!

The verb "said" used in reference to Thomas is framed as an aorist. "Eipen" suggest that Thomas only retorted once. His response was brief and to the point. "But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."

The use of the conjunction "but" to introduce this clause reveals the Holy Spirit's desire to inject contrast into the Narrative. "De," the Greek word, often has a "adversative" sense, as here.

Thomas links a "condition" to any belief on his part, really two conditions! He must see! Using the subjunctive form of "horao," the doubting Disciple must be able to "stare" at the Lord Jesus, visually confirming His identity, especially concentrating on His wounds! "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails."

He had just heard about those nail prints. The Ten had viewed them earlier! Jesus Himself had shown them.

Think of that!

Jesus' resurrected and glorified Body still clearly bore the prints of the nails of Calvary! There are scars in Heaven today! Scars of Love and Grace! By the way, that noun "print" is spelled "tupos," the forerunner of our theological word "typology." It means the "mark" of a hard stroke or blow on something.

This technically is the best place in Scripture to verify that the Lord was nailed to the Cross. It's the only place the nails are specifically mentioned, other than our sins being nailed to the Cross as well! See Colossians 2:14.

The noun for "nails" is spelled "helos" and is only used twice in the whole Bible, both times in this single verse. It means a "spike."

Secondly, Thomas must touch Jesus! He will "put his finger" into those nail prints and "thrust his hand" into Jesus' open Side!

Both verbs, "put" and "thrust," employ the familiar Greek word "ballo." It means "to throw" and usually suggests violent or intense action. Thomas is irritated! Disgusted! He's being a little hard to convince. It just might be his nature. Some folks are a little less credulous than others. The noun for "finger" is "daktulos," probably a derivative of "deka," meaning "ten." So called just because we have ten fingers!

Notice Thomas does use the singular form of "finger." He is not planning to cram a handful of fingers into Jesus' side! But I suspect his obstinate unbelief is ramming something painful into Jesus'  tender Heart that very moment!

More graphic yet is the planned "hand" insertion into Jesus' open Side! "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." John 19:34 relates this fact.

Thomas is going to "thrust his hand into Jesus' side." The noun for "side" is "pleura." This gives us such medical words as "pleurisy." It involves the protective membrane that surrounds the lungs and heart of us humans, the inner wall of the chest. The Holy Spirit is familiar with medical things too! He is omniscient!

To Thomas' credit, when he really did see the Lord, there is no evidence he really did these things! Just "seeing" was enough proof then! Who would want to hurt the Lord? Inflict upon Him any further pain?

Yes, Thomas actually hinges his very belief on such empirical evidence.  Without those things, he firmly asserts, "I will not believe."

The verb "pisteuo" means "to have faith" in Someone. To "lean upon" them or "to rely" upon their testimony. To place confidence in them! Here a future tense verb, such belief remains a not-yet-realized thing for Thomas.

Now here is today's point, or one of them anyway. We are often told by skeptics and liberals that the Disciples so wanted to believe in a resurrected Jesus that they concocted a plan. A ruse to make it look like Jesus was alive, though He wasn't! A pack of lies, in other words!

WE BIBLE BELIEVERS REJECT SUCH HERESY IMMEDIATELY! IT IS APPARENT FROM OUR TEXT THAT AT LEAST ONE OF THE DISCIPLES WAS NOT ANXIOUS TO BELIEVE! RATHER, HE WAS QUITE RELUCTANT, REQUIRING PROOF HIMSELF!

Hear me today!

Evidence, logically and systematically deducted from the Bible accounts of Jesus' Resurrection, prove to any reasonable mind that Jesus did rise from the Grave!

He did conquer Death!

He is alive!

Even Thomas will eventually believe, after the required evidence has been presented, a living Saviour!

Furthermore, get this scene. It implicates all the Disciples! Mary Magdalene has just met the risen Lord! "And she went and told them (the Disciples) that had been with Him (Jesus), as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not." Mark 16:10-11

Planning a deceptive tale?

Hardly!

Anticipating the Resurrection?

Apparently not!

Having to be convinced themselves, that's more like the truth!

Slow-to-believe Disciples!

Then, reluctant Thomas!

Goodness, the Bible just tells things like they really happened!

No sugar-coating here!

Friend, do you believe He is alive?

Listen to Jesus in Revelation 1:18, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore."

Amen!

Believe I'll just take His Word for it!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 26:

What a difference a week can make, if God touches it!

In John 20:25, Today's Verse, we read: "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you."

The first time Jesus appeared to His Disciples, after His Resurrection, Thomas was not present.

This time he is!

The persistence of the Ten had persuaded the eleventh!

They had obeyed Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." They literally provoked Thomas to come to the next Worship Service! This verb "provoked" includes the Greek word for "sharp." It is "akmen" and means the "point" of something. Thomas was "prodded" into coming to Church!

From one Sunday Night to another is, of course, only seven days. But here it is called "eight" days because the Jews counted part of a day as a whole day. If you number Sunday through Sunday, counting carefully, you will still get eight. Because you have counted Sunday twice.

Thomas was "with" them. This preposition is "meta" in Greek and means right in the middle! In the very heart of the group! He really got "in" it seems!

Perhaps these men had not seen the resurrected Jesus since last Sunday night. That's likely. But somehow, the same Jesus who came to Church last week is here again, right on time! He knows when and where His people gather!

It's good never to miss Church, partly because you never know when Jesus is going to manifest Himself so gloriously! Not physically nowadays, but certainly spiritually!

Do notice that the Lord in His glorified Body could penetrate closed doors! Somehow He passed right through them! He did not require that the stone be moved away from the soon-to-be-empty tomb either! Not for Him to come forth from the grave! It was removed so the angels could enter! And so human witnesses, already on the way, could investigate the scene!

The word "midst" is "mesos" and means overtly "right in the middle." Remember that "meta" also means the same thing, but much more latently.

Thomas is now in the middle of the Disciples, ten of them. But Jesus is in the midst of the whole assembly, Thomas included!

Now watch what Jesus said. "Lego" implies speech with "logic" behind it, carefully chosen words!

"Peace be unto you."

Last week in the Sunday Evening Meeting Jesus said something similar. Here is that account: "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." John 20:19

See the fear?

Jesus dispelled it with His Blessing of Peace.

But this time, eight days later, no fear is mentioned!

Just peace!

I observe this. When Thomas was gone ... fear! When Thomas is present ... no fear. His attendance of course may have nothing to do with the "fear" factor at all. But it is significant that nobody is afraid when Thomas is in the crowd!

I suggest to you that Thomas, doubtful and pessimistic as he could be, was not easily frightened! He was brave and bold and manly!

Listen to what He said back in John 11:16, immediately when Jesus announced He was returning to Bethany, quite near Jerusalem, to care for dead Lazarus! This happened when hatred for Jesus was seething, not long before the Crucifixion.

"Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him."

Pessimistic again? To the core!

Fearful? Not a chance! Bold as he can be! In other words, "We may be crucified along with Him, but if He's going ... I am too!"

Thomas, weak in one area, was strong in another!

A doubter? Yes!

A fearless follower of Jesus? That as well!

Sometimes what the Bible does not say is nearly as important as what it does say!

Jesus' very words, "Peace be unto you," are found elsewhere in Scripture too, four times at least!

The noun "peace" is "eirene" in Greek, from a root word meaning "to join together!" Two parties once at variance, now having been brought together as one! It's called amazing!

There is peace with God, no longer alienated from the Lord of Glory!

And there is the Peace of God, flooding our souls via the Holy Spirit. It is peace of the second variety that Jesus just pronounced I believe.

When the One Who conquered death, hell and the grave says "Peace," you had better believe it!

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

No fear, just Peace!

Thomas, we are glad you've come!

We missed you last week!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 27:

The Lord knows what we say!

Even when we think He is not present!

Thomas disrespectfully boasted, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." These words, of course, refer to the Resurrected and glorified body of Jesus.

A week later, on a Sunday evening, the Disciples had gathered, Thomas being in attendance.

Suddenly, Jesus appeared in their midst! "Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst."

The Lord first spoke to the whole group, "Peace be unto you."

Next we are told, "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." John 20:27

Talk about being direct and to-the-point!

The verb "reach" is "phero" and usually means "to bring." Here it is an imperative verb, expressing a command. "Bring your finger over here, Thomas!"

Then, surprisingly, Thomas' finger is expected to "see" something! Again, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands." Amazing!

"Behold" translates a form of "horao," meaning "to observe, stare at, be sure!" This too is an imperative!

Jesus is speaking both literally and figuratively. A real finger is meant, but a spiritual comprehension is expected!

Thomas "saw" with his fingers!

Using "phero" again, Thomas is next told to "reach hither" his hand. He is to "thrust" it into Jesus' side! Used twice back in Verse 25, this third occurrence of "ballo" is different in this sense. On the first two occasions the verb is in the subjunctive mood, expressing a desire Thomas had! Now it is in the imperative mood, demanding such action! "Ballo" means "to throw!" Usually in a forceful manner.

The preposition "into" is "eis," literally suggesting penetration!

If these things will help you to believe!

Faith, that's the point Jesus is making.

He continues, "And be not faithless, but believing." John 20:27

Belief in the resurrection of Jesus is essential for salvation! On that point this preacher will not budge! "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. " Romans 10:9

The two words Jesus used, "faithless" and "believing," are opposites.

Watch.

"Faithless" is spelled "apistos."

But "believing" is "pistos."

The little alpha or "a" character before "faithless" is called a prohibitive. It negates or reverses a word's meaning.

Opposites!

"Pistos" itself is the Greek word for "faith." In its verbal form, "pisteuo," it means "to believe!"

Thomas arrived that night not believing.

He will leave having reversed his outlook!

"Be not faithless, but believing," that whole beautiful clause utilizes the verb "ginomai." It often means "to come to pass or to happen." But, literally, it means "to be conceived." Better yet, "to be born!" Thomas just might have been "born again" at that very moment, really saved I mean!

When John, calling himself "that other disciple," saw the undisturbed grave clothes of the resurrected Jesus, we are told, "Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed." There's something powerful about realizing that Jesus is alive, raised from the dead! Such a fact spawns belief! Also consider James, the Lord's half-brother too. And Peter! See John 20:8 and 1st Corinthians 15:5 and 7.

Also "ginomai" is another imperative in this short Verse, the fifth command here expressed! That alone is quite unusual!

Yes, Jesus just commanded Thomas to believe!

Of course we are all commanded to do so!

Acts 17:30, speaking of God, says He ... "now commandeth all men every where to repent." Paul was preaching there.

Even Acts 16:31 uses a command, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." It's "pisteuo" again!

Jesus just preached a great Sermon, using object lessons nonetheless! His Own hands and side!

But, just in case someone misunderstand, such faith, based on sight, is not possible today! That's why Jesus uttered the great words in Verse 29, soon to be studied here, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

Folks, that's talking about us!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 28:

It's one of the greatest statements of faith in all the Word of God!

And, surprisingly, it comes from the lips of the Disciple Thomas! Doubting Thomas he's often called!

Listen. This is Thomas to Jesus, the resurrected Jesus!

"And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God." John 20:28

At first Thomas was not going to believe in the resurrection, not at all! That is, unless he could see for himself! Touch and feel and thrust, that kind of seeing! Fingers and hands into scars and wounds!

But, in yet another miracle, Jesus has turned "sight" into "faith!"

What reverse order this is!

For us all, some day, "faith" will become "sight!"

"We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself." 1st John 3:2-3

Yet for Thomas, hesitant but sincere, the Lord appears visibly, physically, materially!

It was then, at that moment of Truth, that Thomas exclaimed these great words. "My Lord and my God."

Again, the whole Verse: "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God." John 20:28

The verb "answered" is spelled "apokrinomai" in Greek. Its prefix, "apo," actually intensifies its meaning. It's a verb with the afterburner blazing! A "souped-up" action word! Its "heart" is "krino," meaning "to judge" a situation! Then from one's assessment to its consequential response, we get "answered." In other words, however quickly, Thomas had already considered and pondered and discerned and judged Jesus to be Alive and Real and Risen and Divine!

The verb of course is an aorist in Greek, indicating finished action. Thomas officially said this once, but no doubt believed it the rest of his days! But it is an aorist middle verb. This voice structure tells us that the act of speaking, really what has been said, so impacts Thomas that he is never the same again! Changed by the Truth!

The verb "said," a form of "lego," means to speak with forethought, logically and deliberately! Two ways of emphasizing the same truth! This is a carefully crafted confession of faith on Thomas' part!

No wonder the liberals and Bible-haters want to purge these words from the Bible! Many of them say they are written here in error! Surely the devil would have people think so! The anti-God and anti-Christ forces would of necessity have to fight such! "And Thomas answered and said unto Jesus, My Lord and my God."

And notice this, thrilling as it is!

Jesus accepted these accolades, received this worship, without one iota of hesitancy too!

Once in Acts 14 at Lystra a crowd tried to worship Paul. "And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people." Paul, still with Barnabas at that time, responded quickly, "They rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God ...." No worship allowed here! It was rightly refused!

But not with Jesus!

Let's hear it again, Thomas, "My Lord and my God."

Once the Apostle John, either on Patmos or in Glory, fell down before an angel, as if to worship. Get this quick celestial response! "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." Worship again refused, even by an angel stationed in Heaven!

Why?

Such worship is due only to the Lord God Almighty!

Yet ... Jesus accepted such worship that day from Thomas!

Clearly so!

Gladly so!

Openly so!

Conclusion?

Jesus is the Lord God Almighty!

He is God!

He is Divine!

He is God The Son!

While we shall study it more carefully tomorrow, Jesus' response to Thomas contains not one iota of rebuke or discouragement or refusal!

Right on, Thomas!

Jesus could have even repeated these words, just changing names: "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Just make that "Thomas called Didymus" instead of "Simon son of Jonas!"

Thomas was slow arriving at full faith in Jesus, but he got there!

By Grace!

And we all know, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

Amen!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

By the way, importantly so, the two Names or Titles Thomas ascribed to Jesus that day are critically significant too. "Lord" translates the Greek noun "kurios," meaning "owner, master, supreme one, prince, chief," that kind of idea! It ascribes all authority and power unto our dear Saviour, to Jesus! And "God" is "theos," the Divine One! The Greeks and Romans demoted this word, dragging it into the gutters of polytheism. Christianity rescued it and sanctified it! To us Believers in Jesus it refers to One Only now! One God, expressing Himself in a Triune manner! Here's how Paul once worded it: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all." 2nd Corinthians 13:14

Jesus is Lord!

Jesus is God!

Thomas said so!

Jesus agreed!

Again I say, "Amen!"

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 29:

Thomas saw the resurrected Jesus ... and believed.

He was even offered the opportunity of touching the wounded Hands of our Lord and placing his hand into Jesus' pierced Side!

The profession of faith Thomas then uttered was classic! "My Lord and my God."

Then Jesus said, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:29

The Lord's words carry great power, power to encourage!

The verb "hast seen" is "horao" in Greek, "to stare" at something! It is a "perfect" verb, indicating action that once begun, will continue!

What Thomas saw will never leave him!

The verb "believed," in Greek a form of "pisteuo," is also an indicative perfect active. Thomas' believing was linked to his seeing!

However, another class of Christians exist!

And they are "blessed," maybe even more so than Thomas!

"Makarios" does mean "blessed," but also "happy." It originally was a term linguistically used of the gods themselves. Remember that Rome and Greece both were polytheistic societies.

When Jesus calls Believers who have not yet seen Him "blessed," He is ascribing to them a character trait of God Almighty!

As blessed as God!

God is literally then placing some of His joy and peace and delight on these so-far-sightless saints!

But the term "not seen," at least its verbal member, is framed not as a "perfect" but as an "aorist" in its sense of timing. That limits the action to a point in the past.

These "blessed" ones had not yet seen Jesus, in the past. But such a condition is not permanent!

Faith will be turned into sight!

Some golden daybreak, Jesus will come!

They have not seen, but have believed!

"Pisteuo" here is an aorist participle. In the past they did not see the Lord ... yet in that same past they did believe in the Lord!

For that they will be eternally rewarded!

What Thomas has done is good.

Belief in Jesus is always good!

But what others will have done is also good, maybe even better!

Believing without seeing!

Paul takes this thought further. Using "hope" and "faith" interchangeably, he Apostle asks, "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Romans 8:24-25

This line of thought ought to excite us Believers today!

We have not yet seen ... but now believe!

Our hope is alive and well!

And one day, "When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." 1st John 3:2

Now it's time for the last prayer of the Bible, Revelation 22:20, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." We long to see Thee!

Amen!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 Now remember, this hope of ours, this faith in Jesus, is not to build pride in our lives! Not at all! Rather, it is not of our own doing! We believe because the Lord "gave" us that ability! Even our faith is a gift from Him! That's according to Philippians 1:29. It has been given to us to believe on Him!

Thank you, Lord.

 

 

LESSON 7, SUMMARY:

A number of lies about our Saviour have surfaced recently. Well, they have re-surfaced really. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, "There is no new thing under the sun." It's amazing that after so many years the Devil cannot enlist any new tools for fighting the Lord!

Most of these false premises have recently been re-emphasized with an accompanying book. Liberalism, more than that, hatred for God has re-developed lately with a vengeance!

Here's lie number one, refuted with help from Thomas the Disciple!

The pluralists are at it again! They tell us that Jesus is NOT the only way to Heaven! He is one among many! From talk-show hosts to reprobate preachers Jesus is now merely a good man, a wise teacher, a philanthropist, a wandering activist ... but not the Saviour of the world!

They are wrong!

And Thomas, the subject of our Text here in John 20:24-29, helps disprove such rubbish. He was present the day Jesus taught, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

In fact, Thomas asked the question that spawned such a glorious response! "Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" Then, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:5-6

Apart from the John 14 discussion, John 20 could have never occurred, not Thomas' part of it anyway.

Now, lie number two.

With a plethora of books, we are again being bombarded with the untruth that Jesus was NOT God, not really. Some have even told us that they are seeking to create a "new" Jesus! A Jesus of history rather than a Jesus of the Bible! And a "new" Gospel too! An ongoing conclave of men out west have advanced these fallacies most recently. This crowd denies Jesus' miracles, most of his sermons, and of course, His vicarious Death for the sins of mankind and His subsequent literal Resurrection!

Let Thomas talk again. After finally seeing Jesus, scars and all, He uttered the antidote to these liberal's garbage. Here it is: "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." John 20:28

Thomas did not call Jesus his friend or brother or counselor or example! No! Jesus is God! Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Alive!

Lie number three.

They now are telling us again that Jesus, the real Jesus, did not truly die on the Cross! Either that was not Jesus up there ... or ... He merely swooned and was later resuscitated by friends! These lies have been around for centuries, yet are as new as last week's book list!

Let Thomas address that issue too. Back in John 11:16, when Jesus needed to return to the vicinity of Jerusalem, where so many hated Him and sought to do Him harm, Thomas sighed with exasperation: "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him."

See? Thomas knew! No Substitutes would have sufficed! And the Romans, superb executioners, would not have failed once Jesus was impaled! Jesus was headed straight for Death! Again, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."

The Man, the God-Man Whom Thomas felt and saw in that upper room that night ... is the same Man Who was arrested, tried and killed by the Romans! Once dead, now alive! Thomas knows ... and has spoken!

Then finally, lie number four.

More recently yet, we have been inundated with suggestions that Jesus' bones, or traces thereof, have been found! If not that, the very ossuary, an ancient bone box, once containing Jesus' bones for a long period of time, has been excavated! Some are even calling this the family tomb of Jesus!

I don't think so!

Such heresy says that Jesus did not rise from the dead! That His body decomposed and the bones were placed in a stone receptacle, along with others!

Rather than my trying to refute such riff-raff, let's allow Thomas to talk one more time this morning. Here's the scene. It's all taken from John chapter twenty. "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus (the resurrected Jesus) and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you."

Then we are informed, "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord."

Now Thomas, obviously not plotting to get Jesus out of the ground somehow (another lie the enemies have told) responded: "But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Not a pushover!

Finally, "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed ...."

Don't look for any bone boxes containing Jesus' remains! There are none in existence!

Our Lord is alive!

If not, Thomas the doubter would have discovered so!

Instead he has become one of the foremost defenders of the fact of the Resurrection of Jesus. He has seen the Lord!

Wow!

One man, one student of Jesus, one Apostle, Thomas called Didymus, has single-handedly stripped these four false assertions of their power!

It's a wonder that the recent God-haters, instead of elevating Judas, had not instead tried to discredit Thomas!

Thomas the so-called doubter is really Thomas the bringer of assurance and peace to a multitude of Believers who are subjected to a barrage of satanic lies about the Lord!

Yes, friends ...

Jesus is the only way to Heaven!

Jesus is God!

Jesus, not someone else, died on that old rugged Cross!

And also, Jesus is alive. His flesh and bones, in a glorified body, are now sitting at the Right Hand of God, interceding for us who love Him!

I am so thrilled that we have studied John 20:24-29!

Now, just one more lesson remains.

And that, Lord willing, will appear here tomorrow morning.

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, THE DEATH OF THOMAS:

The Bible is silent on the issue, the death of Thomas. That is, the Thomas who was a Disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But history is pretty clear on the matter. Of course history is not infallible! Not like the Bible!

Here's what I'm trying to emphasize today. After Thomas uttered his great profession of faith in Jesus, "My Lord and My God," how did he then live?

Did he waver and waffle in his faith?

Did he ever act like he doubted Jesus' Resurrection? I mean after his upper room experience! When Jesus invited him to "touch" the wounds!

Truth be told, Thomas seems to have never doubted again!

History tells us that he traveled as far away as India, preaching the Word of God.

It is believed that there, on foreign soil, Thomas died for his faith! Died a martyr for Jesus' sake! Shot through with a spear we are told! And I checked several sources too! This is the consensus!

Now let me ask you a question.

Would a man live the rest of his years steadily spreading the good news of a crucified Saviour, One who had risen from the dead ... if that preacher knew it all to be a lie?

No, never!

Would a man die for a farce?

Certainly not!

The only way to explain Thomas' post-resurrection life and subsequent willing death is to acknowledge the reality of Jesus' miraculous victory over the grave!

You can't scare a man with death ... if his Best Friend has already walked out of a tomb, a borrowed one at that.

Thomas indeed believed!

And his faith informed the rest of his life ... and death!

That's part of the Power of the Resurrection of Jesus!

Glory to God!

I am told, again by history, that in first century life when a godly Preacher entered the pulpit on any given Sunday morning, he first proclaimed to the congregation, "Christ is risen!"

To which the people would immediately and enthusiastically respond, "Christ is risen indeed!"

He is risen!

And we, like Thomas, should live like it!

And, when the time comes, die like it also!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

THOMAS AND JESUS, THE RESURRECTED JESUS! HE INDEED REALLY BELIEVED!

 

 

 

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