The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 16: Jesus and Thomas -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 106:421 (Jan 1949)
Article: The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 16: Jesus and Thomas
Author: Everett F. Harrison


The Son of God among the Sons of Men
Part 16: Jesus and Thomas

Everett F. Harrison

XVI. Jesus and Thomas

No fact connected with the post-resurrection ministry of Christ is more striking and informative than this, that the disciples are pictured to us only in relation to the empty tomb and the risen Lord. It is as though their lives and the sum total of their activities must henceforth be regarded as inseparably linked to Him. He is the key to their existence. In Him they live and move and have their being.

The same truth is illustrated in the one case where men who had been in fellowship with the risen Master were separated from Him for a season, operating apart from His personal presence and guidance. Although they were experienced fishermen, the seven who toiled all night on the sea of Galilee took nothing. All this was changed when Jesus appeared.

Quite naturally, then, when disciples who had not seen the Lord at all in His risen state are presented to us in this period, their deficiencies are seen to be acute. We have only to think of Mary Magdalene and the Emmaus pair to realize how great was the sorrow and near-despair which gripped hearts. In the case of Thomas (John 20:19–29), we see that the situation could be productive of doubt also.

When the Lord appeared to the Ten in the evening of the resurrection day, Thomas was absent. John records the fact very simply. He does not state that the others, in reporting the visit of Jesus to them, found fault with Thomas for not being with them, nor do they convey any rebuke from Jesus

to the absentee. Yet many a preacher has made use of Thomas’ absence to warn the less faithful of his flock. Thomas missed much by staying away. They too may lose a great blessing through not being in their places at the stated hour of worship.

It is questionable, however, that Thomas felt any condemnation for his absence. He was not a truant, disgusted with the cause to which he had dedicated his life and tired of the companionship of his fellows. If we mistake not, he was one of those individuals who prefer to take their reverses and their sorrows to themselves. He simply did not care to see others and talk with them, but chose rather to nurse his own grief in silence.

The report of the Ten to Thomas concerning their exalted experience is stated with the utmost brevity. “We have seen the Lord.” This disciple remains unmoved. Too many people were saying this sort of thing. It was becoming chronic. But Thomas was not the man to be swept off his feet. So he countered with a strong challenge, refusing to believe unle...

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