Only Two Words- “Touch Me!-
April 12 2010 by D.E. Parkerson

“We must have been living in a dream world to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Who started this unbelievable story about His resurrection? I would have to put my finger into the wounds in His hands and feet, and stick my arm into the wound on His side up to my elbow before I would believe that He is alive.”

“You can fantasize all you want to about a resurrection,” Thomas continued, “but it appears to me that I have wasted three years of my life believing all the things that we were taught. I’m not going to give up one more day on anything associated with Jesus. Don’t you get it, fellows? It’s over!”

A few days later all of the disciples except Judas (who had committed suicide) were huddled together in a house still trying to make sense out of all that had happened in the days before. It was at this point that Jesus suddenly appeared in the room.

As they, no doubt, wondered what was about to happen, the eyes of Jesus searched the room as if to find a certain person. Then His eyes focused on Thomas.

I am reminded of some of the old western movies I saw in Chester, Ga., when I was a boy where two cowboys would square off in a saloon. While they stood staring each other down, everyone else either ran out the door or jumped behind tables and chairs for safety because a shootout was about to begin.

I can picture in my mind Jesus squaring off with Thomas. And I can picture the other disciples, remembering what Thomas had said a few days earlier, clearing out of the way. My guess is they were thinking, “Is he ever going to get what is coming to him? He is going to regret ever opening his big mouth.”

Fearing the worst, they possibly covered their eyes as Jesus walked up directly in front of Thomas. The room became deathly quiet. What was Jesus going to do?

Jesus spoke only two words to Thomas: “Touch me.”

Not “Drop dead,” or “Get lost,” or “Beat it,” or “You unbeliever.” Not even “Straighten up.”  No, nothing like that. Just “Touch me.”

The two words spoken to Thomas communicate volumes about the character of Christ. The disciples, but especially Thomas, learned a lot about Jesus that day. And the lesson is one that millions of people in our world today need to learn as well.

People need to know that God is not angry or afraid of honest doubt from anyone who is trying to discover the truth about Him. In fact, He invites any and all who have sincere questions to come, to seek, and to ask questions in order to get to know Him.

Part of the challenge Christians face is to help others see how different Jesus is from the religious leaders in our world who demand blind loyalty from their followers and who disqualify anyone who has the audacity to doubt them. These self-appointed charlatans try to manipulate and intimidate people into joining their cause.

With disarming deference to our human tendency to doubt, Jesus simply says, “Touch me. Do whatever you choose in order to discover that I am real.”

Is He your Savior? If not, He invites you to touch His nail-pierced hands!

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Parkerson is a native of Georgia, a graduate of Mercer University [B.A.], Southeastern Seminary [M. Div. and Th.M.], and Campbell University [D.D.]. He has served as pastor of one church in Georgia and five churches in North Carolina. Following retirement as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sanford on Sept. 30, 1996, he has served nine North Carolina churches as interim pastor. His column, The Paper Pulpit, has appeared weekly in a few newspapers and other publications since 1958. He and his wife, Jessie, live in Wilmington near their daughter and family.)
4/12/2010 6:40:00 AM by D.E. Parkerson | with 1 comments

Dr. James Willingham
As one who use to enjoy those old western stand-offs, I had to laugh at Del's way of getting the point across. As I looked at the passage involved, Jn.20:24-29, I found it even more hilarious. Jesus also said, "Thrust it (your hand) into my side."(20:27). I think the whole band of Apostles could have dissolved into laughter at the way Jesus called Thomas' hand in that stand-off, if they had no been so awed. What I did not know in the days of the Saturday afternoon matinees of B cowboy movies was that my Great Grandfather had been a cowboy in the days of the Old West (had gone up and down the Chisum trail 5-6 times and had worked on a ranch in New Mexico for (supposedly)Jesse James) and was still alive. He died in 1949, and I learned about him and visited his grave in 1988 in Milano, Tx. I also learned that he had professed his faith in Christ and was a member of the Milano Baptist Church. It seems that he had come to believe in the resurrected Savior that I preached and that his parents believed and that his Great Grandather, Holland Middleton, also preached (he made it into Henry Holcomb's History of Alabama Baptists). And was it that Holland Middleton or his father that was a veteran of the American Revolution who was one of the officers of the court to carry out the last will and testament of Daniel Marshall? Thanks to the Lord Jesus who arose from the dead, life is now filled with the joys of redemption as well as the griefs of our sinful, fallen miseries. Del's words bring awareness of the happy implications of the resurrection.
4/19/2010 2:03:45 PM