Thomas is the focus of these verses, or rather his relationship with Jesus. Thomas was a natural pessimist-John 11 v 6-but he loved Jesus. When the others were continuing to meet, he excluded himself and sat alone with his grief. The news that Jesus had come back from the dead was too much good news for him to accept. Interestingly, Jesus appeared to the other disciples once and then it was another eight days before He did so again. We don't know where Jesus was in between times, although we do have a hint in Paul's writing of his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 15 v 5 and 6, but He was visiting the disciples only fleetingly. However, when Jesus reappeared and Thomas was then mixing with the others, He knew what Thomas was feeling and invited him to touch His pierced hands and His torn sides. This is probably another thing that was unique to the resurrected body of Jesus. A reminder that we have seen that Jesus' corpse vanished, ours will moulder in the ground or be cremated. In the resurrected body of Jesus there were still the marks caused by the nails and the wound caused by the soldier's spear. We are not told anywhere that our scars will remain in our eternal bodies. I was reminded at this point of the words in 'Our scars are a sign':
"Our scars are a sign Of grace in our lives And Father, how You brought us through When deep were the wounds And dark was the night The promise of Your love, You proved Now every battle still to come Let this be our song"
The virtues of Thomas: 1. He refused to say that he understood what he did not understand. He was an honest man of integrity. 2. When Thomas was sure, he was absolutely convinced. His exclamation here, ''My Lord and my God!'' Thomas doubted in order to be sure. Honest doubt is not the antithesis of faith, it is the path to full assurance and conviction.