One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”John 20:24-29
My only niece was born three months premature due to a medical issue my sister developed during pregnancy. Olivia was born weighing 1 pound, 6.8 ounces. She did not have the ability to open her eyes. She was under constant watch in the newborn intensive care unit for three months. Her body incredibly developed the last three months outside of the womb so that she went without one single surgery. She is a healthy, vibrant pre-teen today. She is evidence to me that God exists.
We all have different reasons to believe in God. We use events, feelings, encounters, etc., as proof of God’s existence. Without these evidences we would not be motivated to follow 2,000-year-old teachings from a Jewish carpenter.
In today’s scripture, a close associate of Jesus had a hard time believing Jesus was resurrected from the dead. He basically said, “I need evidence.” He wanted the affirmation of seeing and feeling the wounds Jesus received on the cross. He wanted to authenticate the stories his friends told him about seeing Jesus alive after he knew Jesus died and was buried. He wanted proof Jesus wasn’t an apparition but a real, living person. He wanted to use the senses God gave him to see the evidence and decide if he was truly alive.
We are all Thomas. We all have moments of doubting God’s existence and work in this world because God chooses to work in subtle ways. He brings preemies through final stages of development outside the womb. He chooses to work in connecting two people over a phone conversation. He chooses to work in the laugh of a child. He chose to work in revealing himself to a group of 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6) who took that evidence and changed the world.
The evidence is all around us. But God gives us the dignity to choose to see it or not. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.