What Thomas Missed


Text: John 20:19-29

 

I.         We aren’t told why, but when the disciples gathered after Jesus’ death, Thomas wasn’t there at a very notable time.

            A.        What was it that Thomas missed by not being there?

II.        What did Thomas miss?

            A.        He missed the joy of seeing the Lord - John 20:20

                        1.         Jesus knew that his death would be a trial for his followers. He tried to prepare them - John 16:20-22

                                    a.         He warned them about the sorrow

                                    b.         But he hinted that it would be followed by joy

                        2.         Such came when they witnessed his resurrection - Matthew 28:5-10

                        3.         But Thomas, initially wasn’t there. He missed out on the initial happy discovery.

            B.        He missed the comfort of being with people who had similar experiences

                        1.         The disciples had spent about three years together following Jesus and learning at his feet.

                        2.         Even after his death, they had many things to discuss because of that close fellowship - Luke 24:13-14

                        3.         Knowledge of the need for Christ’s death could bring comfort - I Thessalonians 5:9-11

                        4.         A time to search the Scriptures as Jesus urged - John 5:39

                                    a.         At the time, none of the disciples thought to look there - John 20:9

                                    b.         But they soon learned - Acts 1:16

                                    c.         An in the promises there they found comfort - Romans 15:4

                        5.         It was an opportunity to pray together - Philippians 4:6-7

                                    a.         And such the disciples did - Acts 1:14

                        6.         But Thomas wasn’t there. What opportunities were available for comfort wasn’t available to him.

            C.        He missed the evidence that would have scattered his doubt

                        1.         For over a week, Thomas remained uncertain - John 20:26

                        2.         You see, being with the disciples and sharing experiences with them was an opportunity to build faith

                                    a.         Learning and remember the teachings of Jesus can increase faith - Luke 17:5

                                    b.         Because faith comes from hearing God’s word - Romans 10:17

                        3.         But Thomas wasn’t there to learn; thus his faith remained a bit weaker.

            D.        He missed Jesus’ charge to the disciples on this occasion - John 20:22-23

                        1.         In symbolism of the receiving of the Spirit later, Jesus breathed on them

                        2.         He granted them authority to give his law

                        3.         I’m sure Thomas heard about it later, but he didn’t get to experience it. A once in a lifetime experience was missed.

            E.        He gained a reputation

                        1.         When we talk of Thomas, how is his name often qualified?

                                    a.         Doubting Thomas – quite a legacy

                                    b.         Even though the doubt was removed just eight days later, the memory never faded.

                        2.         The times of gatherings is also a time of encouragement to keep us out of sin

                                    a.         A time to put down roots - Luke 8:13

                                    b.         A time to watch and pray together - Mark 14:38

III.       The point, though, is that we miss similar things when we don’t attend worship

            A.        Worship is time spent with our Lord

                        1.         Jesus is with us here this day - Matthew 18:20

                        2.         It is a time of joy - Psalm 122:1

                        3.         Because in God’s presence is joy - Psalm 16:11

                        4.         This is what worship is about - Psalm 100:1-5

            B.        Our gatherings are also times of comfort

                        1.         The world is filled with troubles. There are trials on every hand. Crime, cursing, hatred, ... it can wear a person down.

                        2.         But here is a place where the world is left behind for a moment.

                        3.         Here we find comfort in our common goal - I Thessalonians 4:16-18

            C.        It is a time for building faith

                        1.         We have opportunity to examine evidence - Hebrews 11:1

                        2.         We read of the evidence given - John 20:30-31

                        3.         The lessons and the readings we do at each service are opportunities to learn and increase our faith - II Peter 3:18

            D.        We see the charge Jesus gave the disciples being applied

                        1.         We pray together for each other, as Jesus taught - Matthew 6:9-15

                        2.         At times we get to see another soul added to the fold. But you have to be here to experience the joy. Hearing about it later is just not the same.

            E.        We gain a reputation for being faithful

                        1.         People who miss services are not known as faithful Christians. Most likely they aren’t involved in much of the work of service to the Lord.

                        2.         That is because we know that we ought to be here - James 4:17

                        3.         Being here, we can bestow proper honor to each - Romans 12:10

IV.      Brethren, have you thought about what you miss by not being here?

            A.        It is so easy to take something that is always there for granted.

            B.        It is so easy to find excuses to do other things.

            C.        But think about what you are missing.