John 20:25
So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he replied, "Unless I see the nail marks in His hands, and put my finger where the nails have been, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe."
A Sight of the Lord -- What it ProducesT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 20:25
Advice to DoubtersR. S. Barrett.John 20:25
Cure for DoubtW. Baxendale.John 20:25
Doubting CuredW. Baxendale.John 20:25
Doubts not to be Lived InT. L. Cuyler, D. D.John 20:25
End of a ScepticProfessor Christlieb.John 20:25
Folly of DoubtW. Baxendale.John 20:25
Folly of UnbeliefH. O. Mackey.John 20:25
Modern ScepticismH. W. Beecher.John 20:25
The Lord is Risen IndeedJohn Newton John 20:25
Unbelief a Non-ConductorH. Bonar, D. D.John 20:25
Unbelief Does not Bring ComfortNew Handbook of IllustrationJohn 20:25
DoubtsBishop Temple.John 20:24-29
Our Lord's Interview with ThomasPreacher's MonthlyJohn 20:24-29
St. ThomasBp. Ryle.John 20:24-29
St. Thomas's DoubtW. F. Adeney, M. A.John 20:24-29
The Church in its Treatment of DoubtR. H. Lovell.John 20:24-29
The Doubt of ThomasF. W. Robertson, M. A.John 20:24-29
The Doubting DiscipleC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 20:24-29
The Folly of DoubtingWilliam Bridge.John 20:24-29
The Honest Sceptic and How to Treat HimD. Thomas, D. D.John 20:24-29
The Man Who Missed the MeetingBp. Cheney.John 20:24-29
The Scepticism of ThomasF. J. Calthrop, M. A.John 20:24-29
The Unbelief of ThomasD. Katterns.John 20:24-29
The Unbelief of ThomasD. Young John 20:24-29
Thomas Called DidymusT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 20:24-29
Thomas DoubtingA. Raleigh, D. D.John 20:24-29
Thomas not There: a Lost OpportunityDavid Davies.John 20:24-29
Thomas: the Honest ScepticW. J. Cooke.John 20:24-29
Two Passages from the Life of Thomas the ApostleC. Stanford, D. D.John 20:24-29
Unbelief Convinced: or Thomas with His LordT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 20:24-29

I. THOMAS AND HIS FELLOW-APOSTLES. When they told Thomas they had seen Jesus, and he refused to believe, they must have been rather staggered at first. They would insist on how they had seen Jesus with their own eyes, and heard him with their own ears; not one of them, but all. They would point out how the sepulcher was empty, and how Jesus had said that it behooved him to be raised from the dead. They might ask whether Thomas imagined that they were all in a conspiracy to play an unseemly practical joke upon him. Yet there was really nothing to complain about in the incredulity of Thomas. Who of them had believed Jesus as he deserved to be believed? Their thoughts had never been really directed towards resurrection. They had been dreaming of individual glory and sell: advancement, and all that tended in a different direction had been unnoticed. We must do them the justice to say that no tone of complaint against Thomas appears. They would be too conscious that with the beam so recently taken out of their own eye, they had no right to declaim against the mote in their brother's eye.

II. THOMAS AND JESUS. What is Jesus to do with Thomas? Is he to remain in this state of emphatic unbelief, with no means taken to help him into faith? Will Jesus make a special appearance, all for Thomas's satisfaction? Surely that can hardly be, but time will tell. A week elapses, and the disciples are gathered again, Thomas being with them. Jesus reappears, just after the former fashion. What, then, will Thomas do? Will he rush to Jesus, confessing and bewailing the wickedness of his unbelief? Jesus removes all difficulty by taking the first step himself. All the apostles need to be taught a lesson. Jesus knows well that faith can never originate in things that can be seen and felt and handled. Such things may help faith, but cannot produce it. The confession of Thomas, prompt and ardent as it seems, counts for little with Jesus. He does not say, "Blessed art thou, Thomas; for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Thomas had to be both lovingly helped and delicately rebuked.

III. PROBABLE AFTER-EXPERIENCES OF THOMAS. Thomas would meet many of an unbelieving spirit, who could not, just upon his word, accept the resurrection of Jesus. And then Thomas would have to reply, "I once thought as you do; I insisted on seeing the marks of the wounds; and my Master, in his boundless condescension to the infirmities of his servants, let me see what I wanted to see. But, at the same time, he taught me a lesson, in the strength of which I have gone ever since." All the apostles had soon to believe in One whom they could not see. Where he had gone, they knew not; and how he was to communicate with them and they with him, they could not explain; but most assuredly a real and fruitful communication was established. Jesus was not speaking of an impossible blessedness, or dangling the attractions of a dream before the eyes of his disciples. The unseen, and not the seen, is what strengthens faith. What men see is the very thing that makes them unbelievers, confusing them, perplexing them, utterly disabling them from laying hold on anything solid and comforting. If the seen hides the unseen, so that Jesus himself becomes the merest of tames, then there is dreadful misery. - Y.

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord.
: —

I. AN EVER DEEPENING SENSE OF SIN. See Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5); Job (Job 42:5, 6); Peter (Luke 5:8).

II. AN EVER ENLARGING MEASURE OF JOY. See David (Psalm 4:6, 7; Psalm 16:11; Psalm 21:6), the disciples (ver. 20), the eunuch (Acts 8:39), the jailer (Acts 16:34).

III. AN EVER ADVANCING DEGREE OF HOLINESS (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2, 3).

IV. AN EVER STRENGTHENING RESOLUTION TO ENDURE. Like Moses (Hebrews 11:27); Paul (2 Timothy 3:11); Christ (Hebrews 7:2, 3).



(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

But he said unto them, except I shall see.
Do not exercise your doubts. Exercise your faith. Doubt is weakness, faith is power; doubt is disease, faith is health. Let the sick part rest. Exercise the well part, and it will encroach more and more until it drives out the sickness. Take care of your faith, however small, as the famine-stricken guard the scanty seed grain, as the snowbound, lost woodsman nurses his last match. Little faith may grow to great faith and become a power. "What a great matter a little fire kindleth." Do not think about your doubts. Intellectualize your faith, exercise it, use your ingenuity upon it, see what can be done with it, live up to it, what there is of it. Yonder at Niagara you see the graceful steel bridge span the chasm where the untamed whirlpool thunders below. How leapt that span from cliff to cliff? They say a tiny kite flew over the chasm and fell upon the other side. The chasm was spanned. You say by a thread. Yes, by a thread. But the thread was used to pull over a cord, and the cord to pull over a rope, and the rope a chain, and the chain a cable, and on the cable was built the bridge, upon whose strong and steadfast span the massive trains crash across. Thus may it be with the most attenuated thread of faith. What possibilities, what destinies, hang upon it! Ah! it may be lightly snapped asunder. But that thread may grow to a cord, and the cord to a rope, and the rope to a cable, and the cable to a bridge, spanning the chasm between heaven and earth. And our prayers shall ascend, and God's blessings shall descend, like the angels ascending and descending on the ladder which Jacob saw.

(R. S. Barrett.)

"Is it always foggy here?" inquired a lady passenger of a Cunard steamer's captain, when they were groping their way across the Banks of Newfoundland. "How should I know?" replied the captain, gruffly; "I do not live here." But there are some of Christ's professed followers who do manage to live in the chilling regions of spiritual fog for a great part of their unhappy lives.

(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)

I once heard of a poor coloured woman who earned a precarious living by dally labour, but who was a joyous, triumphant Christian. "Ah, Nancy," said a gloomy Christian lady to her one day, who almost disapproved of her constant cheerfulness, and yet envied it — "Ah, Nancy, it is all well enough to be happy now; but I should think the thoughts of your future would sober you. Only suppose, for instance, you should have a spell of sickness, and be unable to work; or suppose your present employers should move away, and no one else should give you anything to do; or suppose" "Stop!" cried Nancy, "I never supposes. De Lord is my Shepherd, and I know I shall not want. And, honey," she added to her gloomy friend, "it's all dem supposes as is makin' you so mis'able. You'd better give dem all up, and just trust de Lord."

(W. Baxendale.)

A theological student once called on Dr. Archibald Alexander in great distress of mind, doubting whether he had been converted. The doctor said, "My young brother, you know what repentance is, what faith in Christ is. You think you once repented, and once believed. Now, don't fight your doubts; go all over it again; repent now, believe in Christ now: that's the way to have a consciousness of acceptance with God. I have to do both very often. Go to your room, and give yourself to Christ this very moment, and let doubts go. If you have not been His disciple, be one now. Don't fight the devil on his own ground. Choose the ground of Christ's righteousness and atonement, and then fight him."

(W. Baxendale.)

A theological student once went to Dr. Hedge with his difficulties about the divinity of our Lord and Saviour. The doctor listened patiently, and then said, "My dear young friend, your difficulties are of the head. If I should answer them, new ones would suggest themselves. The best way to remove them, and guard yourself from future and similar troubles, is to have Christ within you. Learn His life; learn to trust in Him more, to love Him more; become identified with Him; and your doubts as to His divinity will disappear." The young student followed his advice; his doubts fled; and, on a subsequent death-bed, he bore his testimony to the divinity of our blessed Lord.

(W. Baxendale.)

I put you on your guard against the scepticism of our time. And do you think that I am about to enlarge upon the scepticism of Rosseau, of Diderot, of Voltaire, of Bolingbroke, of Hobbes, and of Hume? — that was swept away with their ashes, and is buried. The great scepticism of our time is market-scepticism, political scepticism, and religious scepticism. Men who feel that it would be wicked to sacrifice great pecuniary interest for the sake of principle; men who think it would be a tempting of Providence to refuse profitable business speculations, to leave profitable situations, or to refuse dividends of evil; men whose consciences will not permit them, as the members of a corporation, to expose its wickedness; men who stand in the market, and feel that they have a right to do anything that wins, these men are infidels. You need not tell me that they believe in the Bible: they believe in an empty Bible — a Bible of the letter, and not a Bible of the Spirit which says to a man, "Sacrifice your right hand before you do your integrity."

(H. W. Beecher.)

A reliable informant, Voltaire s own physician, writes to a friend as follows: "When I compare the death of a righteous man, which is like the close of a beautiful day, with that of a Voltaire, I see the difference between bright, serene weather and a black thunderstorm. It was my lot that this man should die under my hands. Often did I tell him the truth, but, unhappily for him, I was the only person who did so. 'Yes, my friend,' he would often say to me, 'you are the only one who has given me good advice. Had I but followed it, I should not have been in the horrible condition in which I now am. I have swallowed nothing but smoke; I have intoxicated myself with the incense that turned my head. You can do nothing more for me. Send me a mad doctor! Have compassion on me, I am mad! I cannot think of it without shuddering.' As soon as he saw that all the means which he had employed to increase his strength had just the opposite effect death was constantly before his eyes. From this moment madness took possession of his soul. Think of the ravings of Orestes. He expired under the torment of the furies."

(Professor Christlieb.)

New Handbook of Illustration.
David Hume, after witnessing, in the family of the venerable La Roche, those consolations which the gospel only can impart, confessed, with a sigh, that "there were moments when, amidst all the pleasures of philosophical discovery and the pride of literary fame, he wished that he had never doubted."

(New Handbook of Illustration.)

Once a sceptic in Dr. Bonar's church said, "Sir, I do not believe there is a God." It was 10 p.m., and no time for argument. I cast the burden on the Lord in prayer, and looked so happy that he said, "Are you laughing at me?" "No; but I was thinking if all the grasshoppers on earth were to say there is no sun, it would not alter the matter. The Bible says, 'The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.'" "Well, that is so," he said. I then showed him that God calls every man that does not believe in Him a liar. The man went home seeming much impressed; and when I met him some months afterwards he said, "I found out that I was a fool and a liar, and have come to Christ." Thus the sword of the Spirit had pierced his heart.

(H. O. Mackey.)

See these electric wires that are shooting their mysterious threads throughout our land, communicating between city and city, between man and man, however distant; dead, yet instinct with life; silent, yet vocal with hidden sound; carrying, as with a lightning-burst, the tidings of good or evil from shore to shore. Separate their terminating points by one hair's breadth from the index, or interpose some nonconducting substance, and in a moment intercourse is broken. But refasten the several points, or link them to the index with some conducting material, and instantaneously the intercourse is renewed. Joy and sorrow flow again along the line. Men's thought's, men's feelings, men's deeds, rumours of war or assurance of peace, news of victory or defeat, the sounds of falling thrones, the shouts of frantic nations, all hurrying on after each other to convey to ten thousand throbbing hearts the evil or good which they contain. The non-conductor is unbelief. It interposes between the soul and all Divine intercourse. It may seem a thing too slight to effect so great a result, yet it does so inevitably. It shuts off the communication with the source of all glad tidings. It isolates the man, and forbids the approach of blessing. That conductor is faith. In itself it is nothing, but in its connection everything. It restores in a moment the broken communication; and this is not from any virtue in itself, but simply as the conducting link between the soul and the fountain of all blessings above.

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

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