i have read this passage time and time again.  but when we read this on sunday, new life was breathed into thomas’ curiousity.  you see, thomas was jewish.  and the jewish culture had a strong aversion to blood or any open wounds or sores as it would “profane” them, causing them to be unclean and have to go through ritualistic cleansing and bathing in a mikvah.  we can see evidence of the jews avoiding open wounds all over scripture – the lepers, the good samaritan, etc.

so with our knowledge of this, we enter onto the scene of thomas, a good jewish boy.  and what does he say?  “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”  every jewish listener would immediately have given 100% of their attention to this statement.  no Jew would ever under voluntary circumstance put touch an open wound in causing themselves to be unclean.  and yet, thomas is declaring to a group of good jewish boys…in my interpretation…”friends, i am curious.  i want to know for sure.  i want to believe in salvation and explore what redemption looks like.  i am willing to put all those old beliefs and stigmas and fears on the line.  i want to know without a doubt that my savior lives.  that is worth being outcast.  that is worth risking it on.  because if it is true, and i believe in my heart that it will be, i will be made eternally clean.”

things haven’t changed much, have they?  we are still a communion of people, taking risks, leaving safety for exploration, and leaving no stone unturned, because we need to know, without a doubt, that god lives.  and friends, i have seen nail prints, and i have placed my fingers in those open wounds, and i can tell you without question, our savior lives.  he is risen indeed!

john 20:19-21

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