What Did He See?

In John 20:19-29, Jesus appeared to His disciples for the first time after His crucifixion and resurrection as they were gathered together.  He showed them the wounds in His hands and side, and His disciples rejoiced at the sight of their Lord.  However, Thomas was not in attendance when Jesus came to the disciples.  When the others told Thomas that which they had witnessed, he declared that unless he saw the same evidence, he would not believe.


Eight days later, Jesus appeared again to His disciples, and Thomas was with them.  Jesus presented himself to Thomas, showing him the wounds which He had shown to the other disciples.  Thomas responded by exclaiming, "My Lord and my God!"


What did Thomas see? What caused his doubts to disappear?


1. Thomas saw the mangled, wounded body of Jesus.  He saw a man that had suffered an unbearable punishment and torture at the hands of the Romans.  Jesus had been beaten, scourged, crowned with thorns, exhausted, dehydrated, and crucified.  Thomas knew that a man could not survive the things which Jesus had suffered, yet he beheld the living, breathing, body of Jesus before him.  He saw a man whom had known to be dead.  That is why Thomas had not believed when the other disciples had told him that Jesus was alive.  However, when Thomas saw Jesus alive with his own eyes, he believed.


 2. Thomas saw the one who had taught him the word of God and who had performed many miracles before his eyes.  He saw the one whom he and others had followed faithfully.  He saw the one for whom he had at one time been prepared to die (John 11:16).  Thomas had known that this was no ordinary man, but he never understood until this point who this man really was.  Perhaps he now understood why Jesus had once said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6) .


3. Thomas saw the one through whom all things were created.  John said of Jesus, "All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being" (John 1:3).  The writer of Hebrews said that it was Jesus, the Son, "through whom also He (the Father) made the world" (Heb. 1:2).  Thomas beheld the great Creator of the world who had died for the benefit of His creation.


4. Thomas declared what he saw, and we know this by his own testimony.  He said, "My Lord and my God!"  The eyes of Thomas looked upon God, the Son. Jesus is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15) and "the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature" (Heb. 1:3)  Thomas knew that only God could do the things which he had witnessed in Jesus.


We cannot see the things which Thomas saw with his physical eyes.  However, Jesus responded to Thomas' statement of belief, "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" (John 20:29).  We see Jesus through the eye of faith.  By the testimony of many like Thomas, we believe that Jesus died, was raised, and ascended to the Father.  We see His wounded body nailed to the cross of Calvary when we study the Bible, when we partake of the Lord's Supper, and when we pray.  We see Him in the lives of faithful Christians.


Have you seen Jesus lately?  Have you imagined seeing our wounded Lord through the eyes of Thomas?  Think about it!


Stacey E. Durham


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