Suggested further reading: 2 Peter 3:8-16
How kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers! It
is hard to imagine anything more tiresome and provoking than
the conduct of Thomas, when even the testimony of ten faithful
brethren had no effect on him and he doggedly declared, `Except I see
with my own eyes and touch with my own hands, I will not believe.'
But it is impossible to imagine anything more patient and
compassionate than our Lord's treatment of this weak disciple.
He does not reject him, or dismiss him, or excommunicate
him. He comes again at the end of a week and apparently for the
special benefit of Thomas. He deals with him according to his
weakness, like a gentle nurse dealing with a froward child: `Reach hither
thy finger, and behold my hands; reach hither thy hand, and thrust
it into my side.' If nothing but the grossest, coarsest, most
material evidence could satisfy him, even that evidence was supplied.
Surely this was a love that passeth knowledge and a patience that
A passage of Scripture like this, we need not doubt, was
written for the special comfort of all true believers. The Holy Ghost
knew well that the dull and the slow and the stupid and the doubting
are by far the commonest type of disciples in this evil world. The
Holy Ghost has taken care to supply abundant evidence that Jesus is
rich in patience as well as compassion and that he bears with the
infirmities of all his people. Let us take care that we drink into our
Lord's spirit and copy his example. Let us never set down men in a
low place, as graceless and godless, because their faith is feeble
and their love is cold. Let us remember the case of Thomas and be
very pitiful and of tender mercy. Our Lord has many weak children
in his family, many dull pupils in his school, many raw soldiers in
his army, many lame sheep in his flock. Yet he bears with them all
and casts none away.
For meditation: Although God may chasten his people for
their follies, he does so in order not to condemn them with the
world (1 Cor. 11:32).