God Running is a place for anyone who desires to love God and love people the way Jesus wants us to, and to follow Jesus more closely.
In our last post from the book of John we saw how Jesus was most likely present while Thomas was sharing with the other disciples his desire for evidence concerning Jesus’ resurrection. And how Jesus’ presence in our own lives can bless us and benefit us in a major way. (See previous post, COVID and Practicing the Presence of Jesus)
Today we’ll look at Thomas’s response when Jesus invited him to feel the wounds from the nails and the wound in his side.
Thomas Worships Jesus
Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
Thomas answered him:
“My Lord and my God!”John 20:27-28
The Word He Used
So in the real presence of the resurrected Christ, Thomas’s spirit is overwhelmed, and he worships Jesus. He says,
“My Lord and my God!”
Sometimes while I’m reading the gospels, I think of Jesus as a man. And he was and is a man. Fully man. But the early church also recognized Jesus was fully God. And we see that here when Thomas says to Jesus directly: “My Lord and my God!”
That word Thomas used when he said “God” is the same word for God we see in the Old Testament. When Elijah had the contest against the prophets of Baal, and Elijah asked God in front of the people of Israel to bring fire down on an offering, the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and evaporated the water that was in a trench around the altar.
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”
When that happened, when the people of Israel called God, “God,” they used the same word Thomas used when he called Jesus “God.” (See 1 Kings 18:20-40)
We see the same word for God used in 2 Samuel 7:28, Hosea 2:23, Psalm 86:15, Psalm 35:24, Psalm 30:2, and Jeremiah 38:17 and many other places in the Old Testament.
That seems pretty clear to me.
Jesus is God.
Jesus’ Response to Thomas’s Worship
But there’s something else. Jesus’ response to Thomas was interesting because when Peter encountered Cornelius for the first time, Cornelius fell at Peter’s feet and worshiped him. And when he did, Peter lifted him up off the ground and said, “Stand up; I too am a man.” (Acts 10:25-26)
And when John encountered the angel on the island of Patmos, he worshiped the angel that shared the revelation, but the angel said to him, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 22:8-9)
But Jesus didn’t react that way to Thomas. When Thomas worshiped Jesus as God, “The God” with a capital G, the God of the Old Testament, Jesus didn’t say or do anything to discourage Thomas from doing so.
We know mere humans are not to be worshiped. And angels are not to be worshiped.
Only God and God alone is to be worshiped.
Therefore, Jesus is The True and Living God.
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.Revelation 5:11-14
You might also like, Is Jesus God? (After all, he said, “Before Abraham Was, I Am”)
Image of Doubting Thomas painting by Giovanni Serodine via Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain
Newly released book by Kurt Bennett, now available on Amazon!
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.