‘Prove it’ was Thomas’s challenge to his fellow disciples
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 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!” 27 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.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Prove it!……….In our modern, evidenced-based, scientific world how often do we hear, “prove it”? It’s said in conversations, it’s a requirement for salespeople trying to sell new gadgets, medical drugs or cleaning products; and it’s also a challenge for Christians regarding their faith.
2000 years ago, Thomas essentially said the same thing to his fellow disciples – ‘Prove it’.
I can certainly identify with doubting Thomas, we are overwhelmed with messages spreading doubt and trying to convince us that believing in God is irrelevant or in conflict with science.
Jesus knew of Thomas’s doubt and was happy to give him the proof that he needed to believe, letting Thomas feel his wounds. He would understand the need we have to look for proof too.
For me, a deep awareness of God’s love is proof of His existence, but when my doubting self re-surfaces, I do take reassurance from scientific evidence too. I’m reassured by evidence pointing to the validity of the bible and by the fact that the bible points to some scientific truths even before they were discovered.
No one disputes historical figures such as Julius Caesar, where the earliest manuscript copies of his writings were written 1000 years after he lived. Regarding Jesus, manuscripts, of which we have copies, were written within 30 years of His death. There is more documented evidence regarding the life and resurrection of Jesus than any other person from the same era. The bible itself is a collection of writings from 40 authors written over a time spanning 1300 years across 3 continents. Knowing how difficult it is for a group of us to agree on something, what are the chances that without the intervention of God, the message from those 40 authors would harmonize so well together, all pointing towards Jesus?
How does the bible have scientific type knowledge of the world before humans did, if not for the creator inspiring the writers? Isaiah 40:22 talks of the ‘circle’ of the earth before humans knew the earth was round. Hebrews 11:3 said ‘the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible’, centuries before atoms and molecules were discovered. Ocean currents were discovered by a scholar called Maury, after reading about ‘paths of the sea’ in Psalm 8.8 and in Job 38:16 it mentions springs of the sea which were only confirmed by human discovery in the 1970s. In Leviticus, God’s law was advocating quarantining and washing hands under running water long before it was standard medical practice. Etc. Etc.
The bible is ‘written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.’ – it’s that simple.
Head: Science can’t prove many things we believe in such as love or ethics. What proof of Jesus, if any, do you need?
Heart: Do you doubt like Thomas? Do what he did and examine Jesus for yourself.
Hands: Evaluate evidence that is available. Watch the YouTube video ‘The Bible Explored: Can I trust the Bible?’ by the Canadian bible society and look for books that review evidence pointing to the truth of the bible.
Prayer: Dear Lord, We are grateful that you were not angry when Thomas doubted you, but rather that you sought to reassure him and banish any doubts that he had. Please forgive us when we doubt too and help us find the reassurance and proof that we need to hold firmly to our faith in you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
A song to listen to: This I believe
Hayley Alexander- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina