I’ve met people like Thomas. He’s the one, you might remember, who said to the other disciples, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)
I will not believe.
That’s what my friend has told me again and again over the years -- along the lines of: “Unless God demonstrates to my satisfaction His existence, unless He explains His actions and inactions to my approval, I will not believe.”
I am amazed at the arrogance of some people.
Thomas had a choice: Believe what others whom he trusted told him about the Savior, or disbelieve.
He chose wrongly.
Jesus, as we learn in this passage, did in fact demonstrate to Thomas’ satisfaction that He was alive. But no one should expect the Lord of creation to do likewise for everyone or anyone. That’s why John wrote a few verses later: Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
You and I have the Book – the inerrant record of Jesus’ life, His death, and His resurrection. And it is through that Book that God tells us why Jesus had to die, and what you and I must do to receive eternal life.
The warning in Luke 16 about the Rich Man and Lazarus suddenly comes to my mind because it speaks directly to those who demand of God that He answer them to their satisfaction. You might not know the story, so I hope you will read it in its entirety at this link. The verses specific to my point follow:
27 And [the Rich Man] said [to Abraham], ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
God does not usually reveal Himself to us as He did to Thomas. Nonetheless, God gives you and me a choice – to choose to believe what He tells us of Himself in His Book, or to choose to disbelieve unless He meets our demands.
Be humble, and choose wisely.