26 And after eight days His disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them. The doors had been shut, yet Jesus came and stood in the middle and said: “Peace to you”.
27 Then He said (says) to Thomas: “Bring your finger here and see My hands, and bring your hand and put it into My side. Be not unbelieving, but believe.
28 Thomas replied: “My Lord and my God.”
29 Jesus said (says) to him: Have you believed, because you have seen Me? How happy are the ones who do not see and yet they have believed.
John records that it was a week later when Jesus appeared to His disciples as their resurrected Lord. Probably we should assume that this room is where they were hiding from the Jewish authorities, and was the place where they were lodging.
As we have seen previously Thomas was not with his colleagues on the first occasion that Jesus appeared to them. We are familiar with how Thomas reacted to the exclamation from them that they had seen the Lord.
Maybe Thomas had a mixture of disappointment that he had not had the experience that the others had had; and also of disbelief of what they were telling him.
It is without doubt that we all face similar situations where, for whatever reason, we are not present when others experience some mighty work of God. We are disappointed; we are saddened that we were not present; we may even feel guilty if our absence was due to some sinful attitude.
This is why it is necessary for us to always seek to be with God’s people.
The writer to the Hebrews encourages us all with these words:
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near – Hebrews 10.25 (NLT).
If we deliberately stop meeting together with God’s people (the Bride of Christ), we do not know what we will be missing.
We do not know the reason for Thomas not being with the other disciples, and it may well have been an innocent reason. He may have gone out to buy some provisions.
However, the reality is that he was not there when Jesus appeared.
The reality is that there is not one of us who can afford to deliberately absent ourselves from being with God’s people. There are many people who absent themselves from meeting with their brothers and sisters. The danger is that this becomes a habit, and the longer it goes on the harder it is to return to the fold.
Therefore, let us take to heart those words from Hebrews and build the good habit of meeting together so that we do not miss out on what the Lord Jesus does amongst us.