Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:01 AM
To fully understand why Thomas said, "My Lord and My God," we must study the events leading to his statement. When Thomas heard that Christ appeared to the other disciples, he could not just simply accept their statements by faith. He wanted physical proof: "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hands into his side, I will not believe it." (Jn. 20:25,NIV). In other words, Thomas doubted that Christ had really resurrected.
When the Lord Jesus Christ appeared again to His disciples after eight days, Thomas, being present, was challenged by Christ:
"Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it on my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!" (Jn. 20:27, TEV)
Therefore, in the instance wherein Apostle Thomas uttered the statement, "My Lord and my God," the context was not concerning the nature of the risen Christ but the fact of His resurrection.
Obviously in this instance, Thomas was not preaching, but in a state of surprise and shock. This was also the state the other apostles were in when they supposed that they saw a spirit (Lk. 24:35-37). Christ also corrected them:
"Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, 'Peace to you'. But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, 'Why are you troubled? Behold My hands and my feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have'. When he said this, He showed them His hands and His feet." (Lk. 24:36-40, NKJV)
That Christ is not a spirit is clear proof that He is not God, because God is spirit having no flesh and bones. Christ Himself taught that He is man:
"As it is you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God." (JN. 8:40, NIV)
God is not man (Hos. 11:9; Ezek. 28:2; Num. 23:19).
Therefore, Christ is not God.
Then what about Christ's statement afterwards?
"Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'." (Jn. 20:29, NIV)
Christ is not saying here that Thomas is blessed. True faith rest on the evidence or conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Those who are blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe that Christ was resurrected. They are those who do not need to touch the nail prints on Christ's hand. Therefore, Christ is chiding Thomas in this verse.
To accept Thomas' statement of surprise as doctrine would lead to the conclusion that there are two Gods – one who is spirit in nature and one who is man. The fact that Christ was resurrected means that he had died first, whereas the true God is immortal (1 Tim. 1:17).
Christ in the same chapter taught who the true God is when he said, "…Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and you Father, to my God and your God" (Jn. 20:17, RSV). The true God, therefore, of Christ and of the true Christians is the Father. If Christ were God, then there would be one God who is ascending to another God. Does this not constitute a biblical contradiction?