After Thomas demands to see Jesus’ wounds in order to believe, the next sentence starts a week later as the disciples were gathered together.
When the doors were still locked.
So, all these people who saw Jesus, had Him breathe on them, and knew that He was back are still hiding behind locked doors. That Spirit hasn’t done much for them. In fact, it won’t for another forty days. So, Jesus comes again, and goes to Thomas. In offering His hands and side, it is clear that Jesus is aware of Thomas’ doubts and questions. It isn’t clear if Thomas ever actually touches the wounds, but it is clear that he now believes. He knows without a doubt that his Lord and God is present in front of him.
There are several interesting things in here. First, that the disciples didn’t have much change because of their encounter with Jesus, and second, that Thomas, although doubtful, continued to meet and be present when they were gathered together. His doubt was not one of rejection, but one of longing. He demanded a sign, with the expectation or the desire of receiving it. This is different than demanding a sign as a way of rejecting something. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one.
We will all have our doubts and our issues with a teaching, a belief, or an understanding of who God is. May we always come at our questions and challenges with the desire to grow closer to God, rather than the excuse that allows us to reject Him.