I know exactly when it happened.
When I sat straight up in bed and began frantically thumbing through the pages of this well worn Book.
My husband laying all broad, turned over awake from my jostling. Eyes melting into mine – this loving plea to rub soft fingernails across his back.
But he’d have to wait as I flipped back and forth, back and forth all desperate between the gospels.
It was one of the times in my life when the importance of reading the Bible for myself was beyond clear. Too many times have I been intimidated by these words. Scared that this mom of six crazy, beautiful kids would get it all wrong. Nervous that I just wasn’t smart enough without a theological degree or a knowledge of Greek. But God makes His Word accessible to us all, and there is power and beauty and sweet grace that reaches out and changes lives and writes love on hearts through the reading of these holy pages.
And there I was soaking in His truth by lamplight.
And it read differently than what I had seen (or maybe only envisioned) in dramas and in art and even proclaimed from the pulpit dozens of times.
It all came down to one of my favorite disciples. (Because who can really choose a favorite!?)
Thomas – the twin.
I’d always thought of him as the doubter – the one of little faith – a near traitor; certainly relatable to my feeble heart.
But as I glanced back through his life before the resurrection, I saw him as a devoted follower, even to death. And as he’s willing to risk his life to follow Christ, he longed to know how to actually follow Him. And here I found myself even more empathetic of this disciple that often seems to get the short end of the stick, for I’m so glad that he asked the question!
And the beauty is that Jesus tells Him right there, “I am the way…”
It’s not a map or a list of directions. It’s a Man, a Person. It’s God right there in the flesh in front of them.
What a blessing it is for each of us that Jesus explained that our eyes shouldn’t be on the ground desperately trying to find the trail of breadcrumbs leading to Him. For then we might just miss the only true way: Him.
And Thomas was quieted.
Later we hear of his doubts. How Thomas made it clear that nothing less than touching the wounds of the risen Christ would make him believe.
“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.” –John 20:25
And right there in the midst of his doubts and fears, Jesus invited him to do just that.
And here’s the part that had me flipping like a mad-woman all across my Bible. – There is no evidence in Scripture that Thomas ever actually touched Jesus.
We don’t hear words of how the wounds of Christ felt to his touch.
Instead, the words rang from Thomas’ lips to Jesus’ heart, “My Lord and my God!”
It’s the first time anyone in the New Testament calls Jesus God.
And I smile. Because isn’t that so much like each of us – to draw a line in the sand and declare that we will not believe unless we have this much evidence!?
And yet in all His goodness, He comes to us.
This sweet conquest of the soul by Christ.
And He is.
I can’t help but praise Him!
Did you memorize Psalm 103 along with us!? I can hardly believe these are the last two verses. Twenty-two verses of praise being sung around our house. I’d love to hear how God has worked in your heart through these words. Here are the last two verses…
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Psalm 103:21-22 NIV
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Psalm 103L21-22 ESV
Last week… What Every Moment Needs