For me Easter is a time of remembering, studying, and looking within to determine if I am living without. The questions are always the same. Do I live the life Jesus calls me to live? Do I walk the path He sets before me? Do I truly follow Him? Do I hear His voice?
Often I come back to one special person. He is mentioned only once by Matthew, Mark and Luke. But John wrote of him 8 times, describing him as a brave, faithful, and bold leader. John also describes this man as one who wanted the truth and demanded certainty.
There’s also the matter of his name. On 3 occasions John makes a special effort to mention the Greek version, which is Didymus, not a nickname but a translation of his native Aramaic name. Each means Twin…Didymus and Thomas.
Often there’s more than what our eyes can see.
Thomas was chosen by Jesus to be one of His Disciples. 1 After Lazarus died, Jesus said they would return to Judea, but the Disciples deemed it too dangerous. Yet Thomas won them over. Let us also go, that we may die with Him. 2
It was Thomas who asked his master, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? This prompted Jesus’ revealing reply, I am the way and the truth and the life. 3 And it was Thomas who demanded certainty when others said they had seen the Risen Lord. 4
About that last part…few experience the frustration of being mistaken for someone else as well as a twin. Such frustration leads to the demand for certainty and proof. In their absence there is doubt. But we often miss something important in Thomas’ case.
Blessed are those who hear the Voice and believe.
I often hear that Thomas did not believe Jesus was alive until he saw the nail marks in Jesus’ hands, felt where the nails were, and put his hand into Jesus’ side. And yet the Bible never says he did any of that. Instead, when Thomas heard the voice of His master, he cried out, My Lord and my God! 5
The words here are very important. When Thomas said he wanted to see, the word there refers to eyesight. But when Jesus says, Because you have seen me, you have believed, the word is different and means to recognize and have known. 6
Where are you this Easter? Will you believe Jesus is alive only if you can visually see Him? Or do you believe He is alive because you have heard His voice and know He is your Lord and God? Thomas knew what he was looking for. Do you?
May each and every day you hear the Voice.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read Matthew 10:2-4. (2) Read John 11:7-16. (3) Read John 14:4-7. (4) Read John 20:19-25. (5) Read John 20:26-28. (6) Read John 20:29.
Pictures: Banner: Hearing the Voice, Getty Images, LoLostock. (1) Wondering, Getty Images, Prostock-Studio. (2) Jesus Appearing to His Disciples, image created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (3) My Lord and My God, image created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.