Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:25

So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "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."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Skepticism;   Thomas;   Unbelief;   Thompson Chain Reference - Dead, the;   Doubters;   Faith-Unbelief;   Faithlessness;   Infidelity;   Mortality-Immortality;   Power;   Resurrection;   Thomas;   Unrealized Power;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Prophecies Respecting Christ;   Unbelief;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Crucifixion;   Thomas;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Scripture;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Cross;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Nail;   Thomas;   Type;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel According to;   Mary Magdalene;   Nail;   Thomas;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel of;   Nail;   Resurrection of Jesus Christ;   Thomas;   Typology;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Crucifixion;   John, Gospel of;   Resurrection;   Thomas;   Trinity;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Crucifixion;   Discourse;   Example;   Faith ;   Feet (2);   Man (2);   Manuscripts;   Pattern;   Print ;   Slowness of Heart;   Thomas;   Type;   Unbelief (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Nails;   Thomas ;   Type;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Thomas;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Thom'as;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Thomas;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Body, Spiritual;   Christ, the Exaltation of;   Nail;   Nathanael (2);   Papyrus;   Print;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;   Thomas;   Type;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for December 8;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Except I shall see … - It is not known what was the ground of the incredulity of Thomas. It is probable, however, that it was, in part, at least, the effect of deep grief, and of that despondency which fills the mind when a long-cherished hope is taken away. In such a case it requires proof of uncommon clearness and strength to overcome the despondency, and to convince us that we may obtain the object of our desires. Thomas has been much blamed by expositors, but he asked only for proof that would be satisfactory in his circumstances. The testimony of ten disciples should have been indeed sufficient, but an opportunity was thus given to the Saviour to convince the last of them of the truth of his resurrection. This incident shows, what all the conduct of the apostles proves, that they had not conspired together to impose on the world. Even they were slow to believe, and one of them refused to rely even on the testimony of ten of his brethren. How unlike this to the conduct of men who agree to impose a story on mankind! Many are like Thomas. Many now are unwilling to believe because they do not see the Lord Jesus, and with just as little reason as Thomas had. The testimony of those eleven men - including Thomas who saw him alive after he was crucified; who were willing to lay down their lives to attest that they had seen him alive; who had nothing to gain by imposture, and whose conduct was removed as far as possible from the appearance of imposture, should be regarded as ample proof of the fact that he rose from the dead.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-20.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 20:25

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

A sight of the Lord--what it produces

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 (Psalms 4:6-7; Psa_16:11; Psa_21:6), the disciples (verse 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).

V. AN EVER GROWING DETERMINATION TO SPEAK FOR CHRIST (Acts 4:20).

VI. AN EVER KINDLING DESIRE TO BE WITH CHRIST (Philippians 1:23). (T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

But he said unto them, except I shall see

Advice to doubters

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.)

Doubts not to be lived in:

“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.)

Folly of doubt:

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.)

Cure for doubt:

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.)

Doubting cured:

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.)

Modern scepticism:

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.)

End of a sceptic:

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.)

Unbelief does not bring comfort:

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.)

Folly of unbelief:

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.)

Unbelief a non-conductor:

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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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 20:25". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-20.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Eight days (Sunday to Sunday) elapsed between the two appearances with Thomas absent and Thomas present; and during that period he found his way back to the group. He had once affirmed that he would die with the Lord (John 11:16); but, like the others, he had failed. However, he came back, and that is what counts. He came back, and Jesus came back to meet him. Jesus came back to the man who came back; and therein is a promise of hope for all who will return to the Master. There can be no doubt that the second of these Lord's Day appearances was primarily for the benefit of the absentee.

Naturally, the others told Thomas what had happened; but he said, in effect, that he would not believe unless he received the same evidence they had witnessed; and the marvel of marvels is that Jesus simply came back and gave it to him, incidentally giving double corroboration to the entire apostolic group.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The other disciples therefore said unto him,.... Some time in the same week, as they had opportunity of seeing him, with great joy, and full assurance of faith in Christ's resurrection:

we have seen the Lord; they had not only the testimony of the women, and the declaration of the angels, but they saw him with their own eyes, and beheld even the very prints of the nails in his hands and feet, and of the spear in his side, and therefore could not be mistaken and imposed upon: a spiritual sight of Christ is a blessing often enjoyed by attending the assembly of the saints to see Christ, is the desire of every gracious soul; this is the end of their meeting together for social worship; the word and ordinances have a tendency in them to lead souls to a sight of him; and it may be expected, because it is promised; and whenever it is enjoyed, it is very delightful; and a soul that meets with Christ in an ordinance, cannot but speak of it to others; and which he does with joy and pleasure, in an exulting, and even in a kind of a boasting manner; and that for the encouragement of others to attend likewise:

but he said unto them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. That nails were used in the crucifixion of Christ, is certain from this place, though nowhere else mentioned; whereby the prophecy of him in Psalm 22:16 was fulfilled; for these were not always used in this kind of death. The bodies of men were sometimes fastened to the cross with cords, and not nailsF19Vid. Lipsium de Cruce, l. 2. c. 8. p. 87. . How many were used, whether three, as some, or four, as others, or more, as were sometimes usedF20Ib. c. 9. p. 91. , is not certain, nor material to know. The Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Persic versions read, "the place of the nails"; that is, the place where the nails were drove. Thomas knew that Christ was fastened to the cross with nails, and that his side was pierced with a spear; which he, though not present, might have had from John, who was an eyewitness thereof; but though they had all seen him alive, he will not trust to their testimony; nay, he was determined not to believe his own eyes; unless he put his finger into, as well as saw, the print of the nails, and thrust his hand into his side, as well as beheld the wound made by the spear, he is resolved not to believe. And his sin of unbelief is the more aggravated, inasmuch as this disciple was present at the raising of Lazarus from the dead by Christ, and had heard Christ himself say, that he should rise from the dead the third day. We may learn from hence how great is the sin of unbelief; that the best of men are subject to it; and that though this was over ruled by divine providence to bring out another proof Christ's resurrection, yet this did not excuse the sin of Thomas: and it may be observed, that as Thomas would not believe without seeing the marks of the nails and spear in Christ's flesh; so many will not believe, unless they find such and such marks in themselves, which often prove very ensnaring and distressing. Just such an unbeliever as Thomas was, the Jews make Moses to be, when Israel sinned: they say,

"he did not believe that Israel had sinned, but said, מאמין אם איני רואה איני, "if I do not see, I will not believe"F21Shemot Rabba, sect. 46. fol. 142. 2. .'

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 20:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

We have seen the Lord — This way of speaking of Jesus (as John 20:20 and John 21:7), so suited to His resurrection-state, was soon to become the prevailing style.

Except I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my linger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe — The very form of this speech betokens the strength of the unbelief. “It is not, If I shall see I shall believe, but, Unless I shall see I will not believe; nor does he expect to see, although the others tell him they had” [Bengel]. How Christ Himself viewed this state of mind, we know from Mark 16:14, “He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.” But whence sprang this pertinacity of resistance in such minds? Not certainly from reluctance to believe, but as in Nathanael (see on John 1:46) from mere dread of mistake in so vital a matter.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-20.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

[Except I shall see, &c.] They judge Moses once to have been thus weak and wavering in his faith: "When the holy blessed God said to Moses, Go down, for the people have corrupted themselves; he took the tables, and would not believe that Israel had sinned, saying, 'If I do not see, I will not believe.'"

"Thou Racha, wouldest thou not have believed if thou hadst not seen?"

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 20:25". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-20.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

He said unto them,... I will not believe. At some time during the week they meet him and tell their joyful story, but he meets it with skepticism.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 20:25". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-20.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

We have seen the Lord (εωρακαμεν τον κυριονheōrakamen ton kurion). The very language in the plural that Mary Magdalene had used (John 20:18) when no one believed her.

Except I shall see (εαν μη ιδωean mē idō). Negative condition of third class with εανean and second aorist active subjunctive and so as to βαλωbalō (from βαλλωballō) “and put.”

The print
(τον τυπονton tupon). The mark or stamp made by the nails, here the original idea. Various terms as in Acts 7:44; 1 Timothy 4:12. Finally our “type” as in Romans 5:14. Clearly the disciples had told Thomas that they had seen the τυπονtupon of the nails in his hands and the spear in his side.

I will not believe
(ου μη πιστευσωou mē pisteusō). Strong refusal with ου μηou mē (doubtful negative) and first aorist active subjunctive (or future indicative).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Print ( τύπον )

See on 1 Peter 5:3.

Put - thrust ( βάλω )

The same verb in both cases. Hence better, as Rev., put for thrust.

I will not ( οὐ μὴ )

Double negative: in nowise.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-20.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe1.

  1. Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. The apostles had undoubtedly seen and talked with someone, but the question was, Who? They said that it was Jesus, and Thomas, holding this to be impossible, thought that it must have been someone else whom they mistook for Jesus. But "he" would not be deceived; he would thoroughly examine the wounds, for these would identify Jesus beyond all doubt--if it were Jesus.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 20:25". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Если не увижу. Здесь говорится о корне его порока. Ведь каждый хочет рассуждать по собственному разумению и сильно себе потакает. Эти слова и не пахнут верой, представляя собой, так сказать, чувственное суждение. То же самое происходит со всеми, приверженными собственным мнениям, – они не оставляют места Слову Божию.

Нет разницы, читать ли здесь «места от гвоздей», или «отметины», или «следы». Возможно, переписчики τυπον обратили в τοπον, или наоборот. Смысл, однако не изменяется. Посему читатели могут избрать то, что им нравится больше.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Ver. 25. I will not believe] Ah, wilful Thomas (quoth Mr Bradford, martyr); I will not, saith he: so adding to his incredulity, obstinace. But yet Christ appeared unto him, and would not lose him, &c.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 20:25

I. The doubt of Thomas was the resisting of a heart to whom the good news seemed to be too good to be true. Thomas could not believe that the Lord who was dead is really alive. The others imagined they had seen Him, but might it not be that it was, after all, what they themselves had first supposed, a spirit that they had believed too easily? That they were knowingly trying to deceive him he could not fancy; but might they not have deceived themselves; and if the Lord was risen, why was he the only one that had not seen Him? He could not see the character of his own compassionate tender Master in such dealing. That alone to my mind explains the continued doubting of the apostle.

II. There is a mighty difference between those who nurse their doubts, and the doubting Thomas. There is a world of difference between those who would be rid of their doubts but cannot, yet who still are sad, and downcast, and sorrowful through their doubts, and the modern doubters, at least some of them, who love not God, who dishonour Christ, who will not come unto Him that they may have life, who prefer the darkness because their deeds are evil—a world of difference. Let us never associate the two classes. Let us be charitable with the honest doubter; God will take care of him, as He took care of Thomas. But we can have no sympathy with the dishonest doubter, who often makes his doubts the plea for carelessness and Godlessness. But I mean for God's own children, blessed are they that have not seen Him and have believed. The spirit of Thomas is too frequent among us Christians still; busy in many a God-fearing heart, and doing its own terrible work there; robbing men of their rightful heritage, and making them fearful and sad, when they might have joy and peace in believing. There must surely in such a case be something wrong. If it be distrust, and fear, and doubt that find a place within a Christian's heart, instead of peace and joy, much of it, I think, may be traced to the imperfect view that many have of the Gospel of Christ. It is faith in the Son of God that alone can strengthen a man, that can alone make a man free, that can alone relieve the burden of the mind, and give the sad one joy and peace. "Whom having not seen we love, and in Whom, believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

D. Macleod, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 168.


References: John 20:25.—H. P. Liddon, Christmastide Sermons, p. 1. John 20:26.—J. Keble, Sermons from Ascension Day to Trinity, p. 230.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-20.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 20:25. Except I shall see in his hands the print, &c.— The repetition of the word print seems to be a very great beauty, as it admirably represents the language of a positive man, declaring again and again what he insisted upon. The word εις, rendered into, in the next clause, signifies upon, in Ch. John 8:6 and Luke 15:22.; and if that sense be retained here, the words will be, And put my hand upon his sid

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 20:25". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-20.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

25.] He probably does not name the Feet, merely because the Hands and Side would more naturally offer themselves to his examination than the Feet, to which he must stoop. He requires no more than had been granted to the rest: but he had their testimony in addition, and therefore ample ground for faith to rest on. Olshausen calls him the “Rationalist among the Apostles.” Meyer lays some stress on τόπον being used (see var. readd.) instead of τύπον in the second place: “ τύπος videtur, τόπος impletur,” Grot.;—he would see the τύπος, but place his finger in the τόπος. Valeat quantum: but meantime the authority is but weak, and the mistake so obvious, that we can hardly with any safety adopt τόπον.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:25". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-20.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:25. ἔλεγον, the other disciples said) He seems to have come a little while after.— ἑωράκαμεν, we have seen) Without doubt they spake to him also concerning the marks in the Lord’s hands and side.— ἐάν μὴ, unless) Professed and avowed unbelief. He demands that he should both see and touch; that he must have the evidence of the two distinct senses; [He refuses to be inferior at least to the other disciples (i.e. he requires to have at least as much evidence given him as was given to them) John 20:20, “He showed unto them His hands and His side.”—V. g.]; and he does not say, If I shall see, I will believe, but only, “Unless I shall see, I will not believe.” Nor does he think that he shall see, even though the others say that they have seen. Without doubt he seemed to himself to be entertaining and expressing sentiments altogether judicious: but unbelief, whilst it attributes defect in judgment to others, often itself cherishes and betrays hardness of heart, and in that hardness slowness of belief. Mark 16:14, “He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen Him after He was risen;” Luke 24:25, “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”— ἐν ταῖς χερσὶν αὐτοῦ, in His hands) He uses the words of the disciples. Comp. John 20:20.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:25". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-20.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

It is not said what disciples, whether any of the apostles, or some others, told Thomas of this appearing of the Lord unto them. But Thomas eminently declareth his unbelief, which argues him as yet much ignorant of the Deity of Christ, and having given too little heed to what Christ had told them of his rising again the third day.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:25". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Except I shall see; this shows how difficult it was to convince even the disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-20.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

25.Other disciples’ said—No doubt they would miss the delinquent and doubting disciple, and see to it that he have their testimony of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Except’ I will not believe—His disbelief is a disbelief of will. His heart, indeed, is not unsusceptible of tender recollections of the past days spent with Jesus of Nazareth. He feels that there was something truly divine, something that could waken and satisfy his highest spiritual feelings. But feelings are mere feelings. He must have proof, incontestable proof, too, before he will trust the dictates of mere feeling. If these disciples have seen the Lord, that is proof enough for them, but not for me. It was not, therefore, to over-credulous witnesses that the Lord showed himself alive. The persistent scepticism of Thomas furnishes grounds for our own faith.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 20:25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. Thomas received information from his fellow-apostles of the first manifestation of Himself by Jesus; but he is not satisfied.

But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. In other words, he will not believe unless he sees. Yet it hardly seems as if the Resurrection of Jesus were the sole object of his incredulity. That is no doubt primarily in view; but we have already seen that the word ‘believe’ must be understood in a fuller and deeper sense at John 20:8, and the same remark applies to its use in John 20:29. It includes therefore belief in Jesus as the glorified Lord, as the Redeemer who has completely accomplished the purpose of His mission, and in whom the highest hopes of Israel are fulfilled. To Thomas the death upon the cross had appeared to crush these hopes for ever. Could he be convinced of the Resurrection they would revive; and he would believe not merely in that miracle as an isolated fact, but in the whole redeeming work of which it was the culmination and the seal. Thus also we are not to imagine that he is content to waver between conviction and doubt. His old love for his Lord—that love which seems to have burned in the breast of no apostle more warmly than in his—still continues. Iris mood has been one of disappointment and sorrow; and the sorrow is deepened in exact proportion to the height of his previous expectations, and to what he knows will be the joyful result if he be able to believe the tidings of the Resurrection. The harsh impression generally made by these words of Thomas is probably in no small measure due to the unfortunate translation ‘thrust,’ which suggests the thought of coarseness and recklessness of speech. But there is no such meaning in the original. The word is indeed the same as that in the previous clause which the translators of the Authorised Version themselves render by ‘put.’ What Thomas desires is certainly more than had been granted to the others. Jesus ‘showed unto them both His hands and His side’ (John 20:20); but Thomas would touch them. Had he been present at the first manifestation, he would probably have been satisfied with the evidence that was enough for his fellow-apostles. At all events he is now ready to believe, if only what seems to him sufficient evidence is given; and his desire is granted.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-20.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 20:25. The rest accordingly, when first they met him, possibly the same evening, said, ; which he heard with incredulity, not because he could mistrust them, but because he concluded they had been the victims of some hallucination. Nothing would satisfy him but the testimony of his own senses: . The test proposed by Thomas shows that he had witnessed the crucifixion and that the death and its circumstances had deeply impressed him. To him resurrection seemed a dream. But he still associated with those who believed in it.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:25". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

I will not believe. St. Cyril thinks, that the grief and trouble St. Thomas was under, might partly excuse his want of belief: however, we may take notice with St. Gregory, the his backwardness in believing, was permitted for the good of Christians in general, that thereby they might be more convinced of Christ's resurrection. (Witham) --- The doubts of St. Thomas are of greater advantage to the strengthening of our faith, than the ready belief of the rest of the apostles. For when he proceeded to touch, to assure his faith, our minds, laying aside every, even the least doubt, are firmly established in faith. (St. Gregory the Great)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 20:25". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Except = If . . . not. Greek ean me. App-118 and App-105

print. Greek. tupos, type. Elsewhere translated figure, fashion, example, &c.

put. Greek ballo, generally translated "cast". See John 15:6; John 19:24.

thrust. Greek. ballo, as above.

not = by no means. Greek. ou me. App-105.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:25". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. This way of speaking of Jesus-as in John 20:20, and John 21:7 - so suited to His resurrection-state, was soon to become the prevailing style.

But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. The very form of this speech betokens the strength of his unbelief. For, as Bengel says, it is not, 'If I see, I will believe,' but 'Unless I see, I will not believe;' nor does he think he will see, though the rest had told him that they had. How Jesus Himself viewed this state of mind we know from Mark 16:14, "He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen." But whence springs this pertinacity of resistance in such minds? Not certainly from reluctance to believe, but as in Nathanael (see the note at John 1:46), from mere dread of mistake in so vital a matter.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(25) Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails.—This demand for the evidence of his own senses, and refusal to admit the testimony of eyewitnesses, though these were the whole of his ten brethren in the Apostolic band, remind us of the demand made to Christ Himself, “We know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?”

The reading of the second clause varies between “print of the nails” and “place of the nails.” The Greek words vary by only one letter ( τύπος, “print”; τόπος, “place”), so that copyists may easily have taken one for the other. If we read “place,” it answers to the touch of the finger, as “print” does to the sight of the eye; but, on the other hand, there is in the repetition an expression of determination, almost, we may say, amounting to obstinacy, which corresponds with the position which Thomas is taking.

And thrust my hand into his side.—Comp. John 20:20. The feet are not mentioned, but the hands and the side would be demonstrative evidence. We cannot properly infer from this verse that the feet were not nailed.

I will not believe.—The determination is expressed in its strongest form by the double Greek negative, “I will by no means believe.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
We
14-20; 1:41; 21:7; Mark 16:11; Luke 24:34-40; Acts 5:30-32; 10:40,41; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8
Except
20; 6:30; Job 9:16; Psalms 78:11-22,32; 95:8-10; 106:21-24; Matthew 16:1-4; Matthew 27:42; Luke 24:25,39-41; Hebrews 3:12,18,19; 4:1,2; 10:38,39
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 10:7 - I believed;  2 Chronicles 9:6 - I believed;  Psalm 22:16 - they pierced;  Daniel 11:35 - some;  Matthew 27:35 - they crucified;  Mark 15:32 - Christ;  Mark 16:13 - neither;  John 14:5 - Thomas;  John 20:8 - and he;  John 20:27 - Reach hither thy finger

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Doubting Thomas

John 20:25

We call this man "Doubting Thomas"—as if there were only one man who had ever doubted. He does not deserve this speciality of distinction. It is possible that there may be some Christians who think they advance themselves a step in their reputation with God in talking about an old disciple as "Doubting Thomas." The actual Thomas has become a kind of proverb in the English tongue. There is nothing so remarkable or special about Thomas"s doubt. What did Thomas want? He wanted simply to be put upon a level with the other disciples. And imagine the other disciples getting around this unhappy man and pointing him out as "Doubting Thomas." They had forgotten all the circumstances of their own experience. That is just what men always do: they forget their own spiritual history, and then they begin to wonder at the doubts and difficulties, the troubles and the conflicts, which gather themselves up in the experience of other men. Jesus came into the midst of the disciples, and "showed unto them his hands and his side." We do not know whether they made any demand in that direction; the gospel history is elliptical, and it is often wanting in those parentheses which would explain circumstances. Here may be an ellipsis which leaves us in ignorance whether the disciples said, "Show us thy hands and thy feet, and then we will believe." As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ did show them his hands and his feet; and how do we know but that they had told Thomas, and Thomas may have said, Very well; you say it is thus and so: now, except I do just what you have done, I will not believe. I must put my finger upon the print of the nails, and thrust my own hand into the side, then I will believe; if I cannot do that I will not believe. What right, then, had these disciples to gather around this one brother, and describe him as "Doubting Thomas"? They themselves had been satisfied by the very thing that he wanted done; they therefore had no right to look upon Thomas as if he were hardhearted or criminally obstinate.

Yet Thomas made a vital mistake. What was the mistake made by this man? It is the mistake of the world. Everybody is making it The mistake which Thomas made was to lay down the one and only way in which Christ should come to him: "Except... I will not believe." That is to say, I must have it my way, not God"s way; I must appoint the gate through which the Lord must come into my life, and if he attempt to come by any other way, I will not receive him. If I may stand at that gate and watch it, and keep the key of it, and see the Lord when he comes, and open the gate for him, then I will believe. That is the mistake of the world. We do not allow room for God; we watch him as if he were an enemy; we never allow Providence scope enough. We might be saved in the wildest seas if we would let the ship alone, but we cannot keep our meddling fingers still. We must help; we must eke out Omnipotence. The sea would rock you and nurse you with musical undulation, only you will plunge, you will not lie still. We who were born yesterday, and know nothing, say that the Bible ought to consist of so many books, written at such and such times and by such and such men, and all the pieces should dovetail into one another in such and such a way, or we will not believe. And what does our not believing amount to? Is our infidelity a fist that can smite God"s face? Is our infidelity a circumstance worth noting in the development of the universe? A man will say, Except every comma and semicolon written in the Bible be inspired, I will give up the whole thing. What will happen if he gives up the whole thing? Nothing. But thus we magnify ourselves, thus we make a great figure of "I will not believe": there shall be one infidel in the universe unless I can have my own way. This is what men are doing today, and are always doing, and this is how they shut out God from their lives; whereas we ought to say, Lord, come in any way thou wilt, all the ways are thine; come to us through sweet blossoming vernal nature, just opening its young heart to tell us secrets of beauty and secrets of growth and strength; come to us through what is called by man natural theology—forgive the offensive term, for we map thee out into little sections; or come to us through whispered love, or deep conviction, or strange stirring of the soul, or weird figures at midnight, or through a mother"s lullaby, or some great song of victory, or through conspicuous events in daily story:—come in thine own way, and may we be found ready when thou dost stand at the door and knock. Men cannot grow up into this great all-conquering faith at once. Pity, therefore, rather than scorn, the men who want God to come along little private roads. It is natural. There is about it a selfishness that may be chastened and sanctified; it is not the worst kind of selfishness: yet there are souls that would like to entertain God with private hospitality, and would not allow others to come and join the banqueting-board but by special invitation or permission. There are those who would keep the Atlantic in their back-garden if they could, just that they might have a sea breeze all to themselves; but the Atlantic is a little too large for that species of accommodation. There are those who would like to lock up theology, keeping it as a private interpretation and a personal possession, and measuring all other people by standards which these private custodians have elected and pronounced authoritative; but theology cannot find room enough for itself in heaven, much less in our strong-boxes of which we keep the keys. Theology fills heaven and the heaven of heavens, and asks, Where is the trust deed that ye have written out at so many pence per folio? Theology is God struggling into words, and the struggle never comes to anything but a struggle.

This would be the one error, then, that Thomas fell into, namely, establishing a private road by which the Lord is to come, and an apparent determination not to see the Lord except he come along that private path. Take care that ye limit not the Holy One of Israel! There are men who come to pastors and say, We do not belong to the Church, we belong to Nature. Should the pastor stand up and rebuke such, as if they had no relation to the kingdom of God? Verily no: say, Who made Nature? whence did Nature come? what does Nature mean? what is the signification of all its parabolism, its wizardry of flower and bird and song and star and morning and summer? What is the meaning of this eternal procession that has about it the completeness of a circle, and the dignity and weirdness of an uncontrollable and inexplicable miracle? You cannot get out of your Father"s grounds. What of the young man who lives always in the garden, and will never come in to the fireside? What of the youth who will always hold confidential intercourse with the gardener but never speak to his father? The fact that there is a house might suggest a tenant; the fact that there is such a house might suggest a God. There are persons who do not delight in our ordinances and institutions, in our rites and ceremonies, and therefore they think themselves exiled from God"s great home. Nothing of the kind. Do you really and truly love music? You are not far from the kingdom of God. Would you stop to talk to a flower, to wonder about it, to pat it with the finger of love, to ask it questions addressed to its innermost heart? you are not an infidel. Wherever there is any longing for fuller light, more exquisite beauty, grandeur, Proverbs -founder harmony amid all the relations of life and duty, there should be a consciousness on the part of others that they who so struggle and wonder, and almost pray, will one day find that the thing they have been really looking for but they did not know it was the Cross. Let us have no more excommunication than can possibly be helped; let the priest choke himself so that he cannot pronounce the words of excommunication; let him strain himself to find redeeming points, and not endeavour to show his priestly cleverness by finding out reasons why men should be exiled and damned.

There are points at which men may demand, legitimately, certain kinds of evidence. For example, it would be legitimate to say, Except I see that Christ can do more than any other man can do, I will not believe. There you assign breadth, you create an occasion worthy the event which you seek to establish. Can Christ do more for men than any other man ever did? If Song of Solomon, is not this man the Son of God? How long will he stay with a man? When does Jesus Christ turn round, saying, I cannot go any farther with you? When does Jesus Christ say, If you commit one more sin, I will leave you? When does Jesus Christ say, This soul-leprosy is too inveterate for my touch: I can cure very much leprosy, but not of this kind; this is a disease that goes through and through the soul, and I cannot do anything with it, I cannot relieve the sufferer? When? Never! I think men are entitled to say, Except I see that Christianity produces a higher quality of character than any other religion, I will not believe it. Men have a right to insist upon character being of the very highest quality. Here is the responsibility of Christians; here is the terrible impossible task of representing Christ to other people. Yet people have a right to expect that if Christ be in us there shall be about our character a bloom, a fine quality that cannot be found under any other circumstances. There we all fail, the preacher more than any. What should be the quality of that man who professes to be a temple of the Holy Ghost, and to have Christ dwelling in him? what his temper, his chivalry, his love, his self-sacrifice, his nobleness? There "I the chief of sinners am" each may say. Yet even along that line there is some encouragement, for Christ says if we want to love him; we do love him; if we want to be like him we are like him; if we are struggling we are succeeding; if we are fighting we are winning. It pleaseth the Lord thus by his redeeming love to multiply our little struggles and deeds and purposes into great realities, and to regard beginnings as consummations; such is his love. Were we to be judged by our own character there is no pit deep enough for the best of us, but if we are to be judged by what Christ sees in us, motive within motive, purpose higher than purpose expressed in words, who can tell what his eye sees in our poor souls? By what he sees he judges.

What did Thomas want really and truly? He wanted what everybody must have: Thomas wanted personal contact. Of course he happened to take the very lowest point; the contact which Thomas desired was physical or bodily. But personal contact is larger than can be defined by any one instance. Thomas wanted what we need, I repeat, namely, personal touch. The youngest must know what "contact" means—con, together; tact, touching, together. A great grasp is contact; so is a gentle touch, as of the finger-tips, a touch that dare not attempt the larger contact of hug and grasp and assured possession. This we must have in some form. If any have this in a low form, so be it; that is all they can do at present; they may believe in the letter, especially in the letter when it is a capital letter, and almost forces itself upon the dull vision. Some people can believe in the nouns or substantives, and the more striking and aggressive verbs, who cannot read all the little words in between. Let them read what they can; you may be saved by a very few letters, if you get the right hold of them. There Isaiah, however, this larger truth that there may be contact of spirit with spirit, soul with soul. Speculation is worthless, historical certainty is worthless, negative opinion is worthless; the only thing that has any value in it is the consciousness of contact with God, with the spirit-world, with the ghostly awful realities of the universe. There be those who have no Bible except the Bible they can carry in their hands; that will do them no good. By-and-by they will want a Bible that their souls will be too small and too weak to carry; meanwhile do not rebuke them, they want the revelation in ink, in visible letter, and they must have it so because it is adapted to their age and to their capacity. By-and-by they will read without reading, they will have a revelation larger than any book can ever be, they will have a consciousness from which God can never be excluded, they will live and move and have their being in God; now they must pray morning, noon, and night; now they cannot pray except they be on their bended knees, and except they close their eyes and fold their hands, and fall into a child"s attitude of prayer. So be it; the time will come when they will pray all the day. Have they therefore abandoned form, and scorned rite and ceremony, and poured contempt upon their weaker brethren? Nothing of the kind; they have grown into a larger manhood, they have by the spirit of the indwelling God developed a more sensitive and responsive consciousness.

Christ himself believed in touch. He touched the blind man"s eyes. Oh, it was worth being blind to feel that touch! The blind man had the advantage over us in his very blindness, Nor can we tell whether all infirmity shall not prove to be an advantage by-and-by. We can never know health as the leper knew it; he was cleansed, and his flesh became as the flesh of a little child. We accept our health as a commonplace, but to be redeemed from the very grave and made to feel all nature in every pulse, who can describe the very passion of such health? And so the blind man has been going through the earth without ever seeing it, and the first object he beholds is God. What a contrast is that! What a vision of glory! In that revealed beauty the blankness of a lifetime is forgotten. We, too, believe in touch. The poor woman said—and she spoke for us all—"If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole."

Sometimes we have personal contact with God without that contact assuming what may be called a theological form. Sometimes it comes to us through great emotions, through new solicitudes, through pantings and yearnings we cannot express in words. Why this concern for others? why this pity for those who are in great sorrow? why this sense of victory, this mounting above death and the grave, this shouting of conscious triumph, this almost heaven? What is the meaning of it? It may be the action of God in the soul. Why this holy peace, this deep tranquillity, this profound calm that nothing can ruffle, and which when it speaks says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea"? The swelling of the ocean shall not cause tumult in our soul, if we live and move and have our being in God.

We cannot have personal contact with Christ without other people knowing it. Once there were some very poor crude unlettered men—men that might have been taken from the fishing boat or even from the plough or from some ordinary avocation of life, and they went before very great magistrates whose fingers were unsullied with labour, and these magistrates looked at them and said, How singular these men are! how rude in outline! what disadvantages they must have undergone! and yet what is that about them that makes them singular? There is a kind of radiance on all that roughness of exterior: what is it?—"And they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus." To be with Jesus is an education; to be closeted with Christ is a refining process. When Moses came down from the mountain his face was like a sun; he had been with God: and the rude fishermen, with all their roughness, clumsiness, with all their want of pomp and form, had something about them that impressed the magistracy of the day, and the great priests took knowledge of them that there was a refinement not taught in the schools, a singular beauty, a fascination suggestive of the highest spiritual culture. We ask no other distinction, we pant for no greater fame than to be taken knowledge of that we have been with Jesus.

Prayer

Oh, thou who art merciful and gracious, full of compassion and long-suffering and tenderness; thou art kind to the unthankful and to the evil! We hasten to thee with our offering of praise, inasmuch as thou hast crowned our life with lovingkindness and tender mercy, and made it beautiful with continual love. We praise thee; we magnify thee; we offer thee the whole strength of our heart. We hasten to thee as men who have been mocked by the promises of the world, and who long to find satisfaction in thine infinite and unspeakable peace. We have been disappointed. The staff has been broken in our hand and pierced us. We mistook the scorpion for an egg. We have hewn unto ourselves cisterns; they are broken cisterns, which can hold no water. Foiled, smitten, wounded, humiliated, and disgraced we come into thy presence, knowing that in God, as revealed in the person and doctrine of Jesus Christ, and made known unto us by the ministry of the Holy Ghost, we can find rest which our souls could not find elsewhere. All our springs are in thee. Thou givest us what we need. They who are in thy presence, who live in thy light and thy love, hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither are subjected to weariness or decay. We would live in God. We would have our being in the Eternal. We would know nothing among men but Jesus, and him crucified; and by the mystery of pain and the mystery of love, symbolised by Christ"s Cross, we would endure the trials of the world, and discharge the whole service of life. Meet us as sinners, and pardon us. The blood of Jesus Christ, thy Song of Solomon, cleanseth from all sin. May we know its cleansing, healing power. We have done the things we ought not to have done; we have withheld the testimony which it became us to deliver; we have often been timid and unfaithful; we have hesitated when we ought to have gone forward; we have compromised where we ought to have died; we have become self-seekers where we ought to have sought the crown of martyrdom; we have kept an unjust balance and an untrue weight; our measure has been false; our word has been untrue; our spirit has been worldly; our very prayers have been selfish. All this we say when we truly know ourselves, as we are revealed to ourselves by the indwelling, all-disclosing Spirit. God be merciful unto us sinners, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! Give us the hearing ear and the understanding heart, the obedient will, the ever-industrious hand in the service of Jesus Christ. When we have done our best to serve our day and generation, and the time of reckoning has come, may we find all our worth in the worthiness of the Lamb, and be accounted fit to sit with him on his throne, because in our degree we have shared the pain and shame of his crucifixion. Amen.

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Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on John 20:25". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/john-20.html. 1885-95.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 25. "The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe."—" We have seen the Lord: "this is the summary only of their report. It is self-understood that they told him the whole occurrence. But he, in his hardness to believe, accused them of credulity. τύπος is impression, trace. In the second clause, τόπος is more suitable (Grotius: τύπος, videtur; τόπος, impletur), and the rather to be preferred, as it is so easy to account for the substitution of τύπος. Thomas' affirmation has three members: the number three is often in the Old Testament the mark of emphasis, e.g. Ezekiel 21:32. Thomas had doubtless seen the crucifixion in common with the rest: this we may infer from the vivid impression made upon him by the image of the Crucified. According to Luke 23:49, there stood beside the women πάντες οἱ γνωστοὶ αὐτo , at a certain distance from the cross. That John alone is mentioned as being present, may be explained by the fact that to him a word was addressed. Thomas does not mention the feet, because the hands and the feet were one whole to him; and the experiment on the hands would suffice.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:25". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

25.Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails. This points out the source of the vice to be, that every one wishes to be wise from his own understanding, and flatters himself beyond measure. If I do not see, says he, “and if I do not touch, I will not believe. (214) These words have no approach to faith, but it is what may be called a sensual judgment, by which I mean, a judgment which is founded on the perception of the senses, (215) The same thing happens to all who are so devoted to themselves (216) that they leave no room for the word of God. It is of no consequence, whether you read the place, or the shape, or The Print of the nails; for transcribers may have exchanged τύπον (print) for τόπον, (place,) or τόπον (place)for τύπον, (print;) but the meaning is not altered on that account. Let the reader, therefore, choose which of them he shall prefer. (217)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:25". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.