Posted by: randydunning | January 20, 2008

Day 20 | John 20


Text: John 20

Key Verse: 26
“After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.'”

Thomas was not believing the good news. Even when all the others were declaring to him that they had seen the risen Lord, he chose not to believe. Why? After all, Jesus had told the disciples repeatedly that he was going away and that where he went they couldn’t come now. So why with this abundant testimony will he not believe.

Perhaps Thomas isn’t merely the boorish doubter he is often cast to be. Perhaps he is a deep well who was hit especially hard by the death of the Lord. And perhaps this loss hurt so profoundly that he didn’t want to open up his heart unless he had the assurance it would not be crushed yet again.

I have no way of knowing if this characterization of Thomas is true, but it makes sense. He didn’t want to be a doubter, but his pain was such that it prohibited him from reaching out by faith to embrace this seemingly tremendous news from his friends. I get this. I sure wish I didn’t get it so well.

I have often read v. 29 as a criticism of Thomas. Now I see it more as an encouragement to fight through doubts and the temptation to close off the heart in difficult times. It is in those dark times that we do not see the hand of God so readily. And it is then that, not seeing, we need most to believe.

Lord, you know where and to whom I’ve closed off my heart. I really don’t want more emotional pain in my life. But, and as difficult as it is to commit to this, I will seek to leave my heart open to you, trusting that your plans for me are not to harm me but to bless me and to give me hope.



  1. I have enjoyed the community and accountability that journaling through John has provided. God has spoken to me throughout my reading and journaling in new ways: specifically by reminding me that the focus of a Christian should be on eternal things, not on temporal, earthy things. Thanks for presenting this challenge– it has been very helpful and rewarding.

  2. One thing I never really thought much about is the fact that the disciples watched Jesus die on the cross. Here we see Thomas say he wants to touch Jesus’ hands, feet and side where they were pierced. That would mean he was standing right there when all those things were done. It must have been incredibly hard to see your Lord have those things done to him. It amazes me what people have to watch and yet can do nothing.

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