Better Late Than Never

Bible Book: John  20 : 24-29
Subject: Procrastination, Resurrection, Easter, Time

Newspaper columnist, Ann Landers shared the following "Gem of the Day" from a man almost as famous for his sayings as for his ability on the baseball field as a player and manager with the New York Yankees, Yogi Berra. He was notorious for being at least half an hour late. Once bragged when he was only fifteen minutes late, "This is the earliest I've ever been late." [Mobile Register, Mobile, Alabama, Monday, October 25, 1999, Section 2-D].

From John 20:24 we learn that Thomas was not present when Jesus first appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. In his book titled Interviews With Jesus, Dr. Jerry Vines writes about "The Late Mr. Thomas." Vines explains, "When you read this passage carefully, you see Thomas in two different scenes. First of all, we see Thomas missing the risen Christ, and then we see Thomas meeting the risen Christ." [Jerry Vines, Interviews With Jesus (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981), 43].

I. The Investigation that Thomas Requested (20:25)

"The other disciples therefore said to him, 'We have seen the Lord,' so he said to them, 'Unless I 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.' " (NKJV) Thomas was a natural skeptic that apparently looked on the dark side. Two snapshots from Thomas' life reveal this tendency. For example, in the eleventh chapter of John, we read that Thomas said, "Let us go with him that we may die with Him" (John 11:16). He made this comment after Jesus shared the fact of his imminent death. Also, Thomas revealed his doubts about Jesus' promise of going away to prepare a place in heaven in the fourteenth chapter of John when he said, "Lord, we don't know where you're going and how can we know the way?" (John 14:5) To which Jesus replied with the most powerful words in the Bible, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14:6)

II. The Information that Thomas Received (20:26,27)

"After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst and said, 'Peace to you!' Then He said to Thomas, 'Reach your finger here and look at My hands, and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving but believing." (NKJV)

In his book titled, Skeptics Answered, Dr. D. James Kennedy shares in chapter one that "Skeptics Are Welcome". He cites examples such as Gen. Lew Wallace, author of Ben-Hur, and Josh McDowell, author of Evidence That Demands a Verdict, to illustrate the fact that modern skeptics can be born again. Dr. Kennedy emphatically states that "Christianity is based on 'many infallible

proofs' (Acts 1:3)." However, he warns that dishonest skeptics like Herod, Pilate, and the Pharisees will not receive accommodation by the Lord. [D. James Kennedy, Skeptics Answered (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1997), 14,16].

III. The Interpretation that Thomas Reported (20:28)

"And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!" (NKJV)

Ironically, Thomas' answer, "My Lord and my God," is by far the greatest confession of faith recorded in the Scripture, coming from the greatest skeptic among the ranks of the disciples.

Jesus explained: "...because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (v. 29, NKJV).


Someone has wisely advised, "Repent today, because you never know how soon it will be too late." We should never "boast about tomorrow" because as the Scripture warns "no one knows what a day may bring forth."

2 Corinthians 6:2b offers the following word of encouragement: " Behold, Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation". (NKJV)

Although Thomas came around later than the others, he did finally come around. We must remember, that to know the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His fullness and glory it is truly..."Better Late Than Never!"