“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “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 it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. ” (John 20:19–31, NIV)One thing to be sure, God knows the limitations of man. He understands our weaknesses and struggles. He recognizes our barriers to belief. And He has gone to great lengths, short of removing the necessity of faith, to give us every reason to believe. He appeared to the disciples, He gave Thomas hard physical evidence and He inspired the words of scripture for you and me.
What you have in front of you was given to you with the stated purpose of writing these words so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name”.
Now there is another reality not stated in this passage. As much as God would desire for you to believe, you also have an enemy whose goal is to prevent your understanding and experiencing this truth. “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1Pet 5:8) This adversary comes to “steal and kill and destroy”. (Jn 10:10) “He does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (Jn 8:44)
This is the cosmic battle for your soul. God has given us truth and yet our adversary seeks to hide this truth with lies. But you need to know that no matter how hard he works, it is not possible for the devil to hide the glory of God. “For the heavens declare the glory of God and the sky displays his handiwork. Day after day speaks out, night after night reveals His greatness.” (Ps 19:1-2) “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” (Rom 1:20)
So here is what this should tell us: The truth of God cannot be hidden! Even when our circumstances seem hopeless, the sunrise shouts the glory of God and demonstrates His faithfulness to all mankind. Even when everyone does what is right in his own eyes and selfishly determines that life can be lived without God, He still sends His Son to show us what we are missing. Satan is never allowed to get the upper hand. “Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world.” (1Jn 4:4)
You are being pursued with a great affection. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” ( Jn 15:13) . He understands our weaknesses and struggles. He recognizes our barriers to belief. And He has gone to great lengths, short of removing the necessity of faith, to give us every reason to believe.
So look hard. Even in the deceit of Satan lies a kernel of truth. “Know the truth and the truth with set you free.” (Jn 8:32)