Lesson 105: John 20:24-29 – When Thomas Stayed Home From Church

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 105 from the sermon series "The Gospel of John" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



When Thomas stayed home from church, He missed the Lord’s appearance (v.24). You won’t miss the Lord if you stay home, but you might miss having your doubts removed as they did. The opposite of doubt is faith, so if you have doubts, go to where the Word’s taught (Rom.10:17)!

Thomas doubted despite all the proof He’d seen that Jesus was the Christ, as Israel doubted after all they’d seen and couldn’t enter the Promised Land (Ps.78:10-22). Thomas is a type of Tribulation Jews whom God will warn, using Israel’s past unbelief, to believe or miss out on entering the kingdom (Heb. 3:8-13), and we see this typified in Thomas.

Thomas was called Didymus, which means twain and “Thomas” is from the Hebrew for “twin” (Gen.25:24), a reference to his split personality, strong faith (Jo.11:6) and then doubt. Knowing this typified Israel’s past, God warns Tribulation Jews not to miss out on the kingdom that way.

This is the only time the nails of the cross are mentioned (Jo.20:25).The Romans sometimes tied victims to the cross, but here the Lord fulfilled Psalm 22:16 and proved that open theism is wrong, since God knew in advance how they’d affix Him to the cross. By the way, how big was the Lord’s side wound that Thomas could thrust his hand into it

When the Lord was gracious to Thomas for his unbelief (v.26), that makes all this a type of Zechariah 12:10. Thomas was a type of Tribulation Jews who won’t believe till they see the wounds in His hands (Zech.13:6).

Thomas answers those who say the apostles were gullible, and would believe anything the Lord told them, like that He rose from the dead. Thomas demanded evidence!

The Lord appeared again on the 8th day (Jo.20:26), the day of new beginnings. Abraham had to be circumcised on the 8th day (Gen.17:12) to symbolize the death of his old life and the beginning of his new live. That’s why the Lord’s death was called a circumcision (Col.2:11), a cutting off (Dan.9:26), and why your new life began when you were circumcised with Him by faith. So the “peace” the Lord offered here (Jo.20:26) is a picture of the peace the Jews will enjoy in their new life in the kingdom.

The Lord proved He hears all our conversations when He replied to what Thomas said to the apostles when He wasn’t around (Jo.20:25,27), so don’t be grieving the Lord (Eph.4:30) with your conversations!

How did Thomas know his Lord was his God (Jo.20:28)? He was talking to a man with a hand-sized hole in His side! He didn’t touch His wounds, knowing that would be irreverent, but you can (Mt.26:26,28), so you don’t forget what the Lord did for you. When Thomas called his Lord “God,” though, he typified Zechariah 13:6-9.

If Jesus wasn’t God, this would have been the time to tell them they were getting carried away thinking He was, as some accuse them of (cfActs10:25,26;14:11-15;Rev.22:8,9)

The Lord didn’t say, “because you touched Me you believe” (John 20:29). And when He blessed those who have not seen but believe, He wasn’t talking about you, the Body of Christ was a Mystery, He was speaking about Tribulation Jews who will believe on Christ before they look on Him whom they have pierced.

The “other signs” were not the miracles the Lord did before the multitudes, but “in the presence of His disciples” (20:30), speaking of things like the vanishing of Luke 24: 31, signs He did to His chosen witnesses (Acts 10:40,41). The signs that John did record, though, were written to help the Jews believe Jesus was their Christ, which was the gospel they had to believe to have eternal life (Jo.20:31).

Doubting Thomas was the only one to call the Lord “God.” The strongest affirmation to His deity came from a doubter! God used a thief at the Cross to attest the Lord’s deity, He used fraidy-cats Joseph and Nicodemus at His burial, He used Thomas at His resurrection and a rebel named Saul to affirm His deity in His ascension (ICor.1:26-28)!

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