Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. John 20:24
David in Psalm 84:10 said a day in God’s courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. Sometimes, all God needs in a person’s life is just a day spent in His courts (presence) for the person’s life to change. Zacharias was one day in God’s courts when the answer to his prayer came; so was Hannah. David was perplexed and envious of the prosperity of the wicked. But when he got to the court of God, he understood their end, and also saw that he had a better end. Knowing the difference an encounter with God in His courts can make, David placed a lot of premium on a day in God’s presence with God’s people.
If a day is so important, imagine what it means to miss a day in God’s court – you miss the opportunity for your faith to be fed, you miss out on the Word of encouragement for that day, you miss hearing testimonies of others that would have edified you. And you don’t get to hear the prophecy or the word of knowledge that may be released on that day for you. A case in point can be seen in today’s passage.
All that Thomas missed was one meeting with the other disciples in the presence of Jesus, and that affected him adversely. We don’t know for what reason he was absent. Perhaps, he had business to attend to, delay in getting ready to come, he had to run an important errand, or maybe he was legitimately ill and unable to come. However, look at all he missed – the release of peace upon the disciples, the confirmation of their faith, the breath of the Spirit’s power, the apostolic authority to remit or retain sins of men, and the great commission to go forth with the same mandate Jesus went with.
When the other disciples told Thomas that they had seen the risen Christ, he doubted them. Thomas did push his unbelief quite far. He was resolute that eyewitness accounts would not sway or move him; he discounted the report of his trusted companions and disciples of the Lord in favor of empirical evidence. He hinged his faith on the senses, wanting to see and touch both Jesus’ hand and side before he would believe. Faith that is seen is no more faith. Hence, Thomas made himself a perpetual example of underdeveloped faith and a picture of doubt…all because he missed ONE day…one critical ‘church’ meeting.
Indeed, they know not what they lose who unnecessarily and carelessly absent themselves from the assembling of the people of God. Today, many voices denigrate fellowshipping with other believers in church (God’s court), but Hebrews 10:25 admonishes us not to forsake gathering with other believers, for where brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands His blessings (Psalm 133:1-3).
Lord, help me not to carelessly absent myself from the assembly of other believers or miss my day of visitation in Your courts. I ask for the discipline to set my priorities right and place a premium on a day in Your courts above everything else in Jesus’ name.