He said to them, “Unless I see the mark of nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe. (John 20:25 NRSV)
Jesus met Mary in her grief, and he met Thomas in his doubting. This disciple has gone by the nickname “Doubting Thomas.” Who really knows why he doubted? Was he a cynic? Or maybe a pessimist? Was he dealing with grief the way so many have, through denial? Whatever the reason, Jesus met him in the upper room and addressed him according to his circumstances.
There is no indication someone told Jesus that Thomas had doubts, but Jesus knew, and spoke to him accordingly. He said, “Put your finger here . . . reach out your hand. . . . Do not doubt but believe” (John 20:27 NRSV).
Once again, Jesus makes himself known in a way that suits each person’s circumstances and needs. Mary did not need Jesus to say, “Put your finger here,” and Thomas needed more than a mere recitation of his name. Jesus met Mary according to her grief and Thomas according to his doubts. And he meets us still, in whatever situation or condition we may be. If you know grief, doubt, suffering, joy, or whatever, that is where he will meet you. And in a way that meets your need.
Gracious God, thank you for meeting us where we are and how we can hear you. Amen.