"Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand ..." (John 20:27)

"Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27)

Why did Thomas doubt it was Jesus?

Jesus is speaking to his disciple Thomas, who has been theretofore dubbed "doubting Thomas."

Despite this, following Jesus' ascension Thomas became a dedicated missionary, spreading Jesus' teachings.

Why did Thomas, who knew Jesus well during his lifetime, doubt that Jesus was appearing before him?

Here is the context of Jesus' statement to Thomas:
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:25-27)
What then do we make of Jesus' appearance to the disciples? Was he appearing to them in the same body that had been crucified? Was this the body that died on the cross according to the guards and observers?

If he was not appearing in this body, how could Thomas have put his hand into Jesus' side?

Consider for a moment, if it was Jesus' physical body. Jesus' hands and feet were nailed through. These would be holes that would remain bleeding and broken. Could Jesus have walked on such feet? And three days after being pierced, would Jesus' side have a hand-sized hole in it? Such a hole would be flowing with blood, intestines and other internal tissues. 

Certainly, a human body wouldn't simply have a hole allowing a hand to be inserted into it without becoming immeshed in blood and tissues. It would be quite a bloody mess if it were Jesus' physical body.

How did Jesus get through the locked door?

In addition to the points above, if Jesus was appearing in his physical body, how could he have gotten through the locked door?
Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them... (John 20:19)
Here are the major points that conflict with the notion that Jesus appeared to them in the physical body he occupied previously:

1) Thomas and other disciples did not recognize him.
2) There were holes in his hands, feet, and side. How did this body walk or allow Thomas put his hand inside?
3) How did Jesus get through the locked door?

The only logical conclusion is that Jesus wasn't appearing in the human body he occupied prior to his crucifixion. Jesus was appearing to his disciples in an angel-like apparition they could see with their physical eyes - a form that could be manipulated by the power of the Supreme Being in order for Jesus to show himself in order to illustrate that he (and each of us) lives on after the death of the physical body.

This would undoubtedly the same kind of appearance given by angels.

Was Jesus' 'resurrection' appearance like an angel?

This is precisely what is described in "The Wisdom [or Sophia] of Jesus Christ" an ancient Gospel written nearly two thousand years ago, found in the desert in 1945:
The Savior appeared not in his earlier form, but in the ethereal spirit. His appearance was like a beautiful illuminated angel. But I cannot properly describe his appearance. No material body could bear this – only the purified spiritual body – just as he taught us about from Galilee to the mount referred to as ‘the olives.’ (Sophia of Jesus Christ 2)
Just consider how angels have appeared variously in the texts of the Bible:
There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. (Exodus 3:2)
Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. (Numbers 22:24)
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12)
When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!” (Judges 6:22)
When the angel of the LORD did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the LORD. (Judges 13:21)
The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. (2 Samuel 24:16)
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:7)
The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. (1 Chron 21:16)
Then the angel of the LORD ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. (1 Chron 21:18)
While Araunah was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the angel; his four sons who were with him hid themselves. (1 Chron 21:20)
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! (Daniel 3:28)
He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there— (Hosea 12:4)
And they reported to the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees (Zechariah 1:11)
While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him (Zechariah 2:3)
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream (Matt 1:20)
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. (Matt. 28:2)
The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. (Luke 1:19)
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee... The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God." (Luke 1:26)
These verses tell us that angels can appear before us in numerous ways. They can appear within our dreams. They can appear before our physical eyes when we are awake, in various forms.

What is consistent among these and other angel appearances is that they are all on a mission. We can see the mission by some of their statements, such as “The LORD is with you," and "you have found favor with God." Their mission is to pass on messages from the Supreme Being.

This is why most of these descriptions say "angel of the Lord."

We also find clear evidence that these angels are servants of God. They are being sent by God: "I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you..." Or God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth...

These illustrate that angels can be with God in the spiritual realm, yet they can also be sent by the Supreme Being to appear before us in the physical realm.

How do angels appear before us?

The physical world is a dimension made of molecules. Our eyes see the reflections of light off molecular structures. 

The Supreme Being and His angels can manipulate those molecules in any manner He desires.

The entities of the spiritual realm can appear throughout the physical dimension. Each of us is a spiritual entity, but we come to occupy a physical body that reflects light. This enables other physical bodies to perceive the body we wear.

These physical bodies are like vehicles that carry us. And these physical vehicles can sense other physical vehicles. But these bodies cannot see into the spiritual dimension.

For this reason, our physical eyes cannot see a spirit-person leaving the physical body at the time of death. The science of clinical death has shown that the spirit-person will rise above the body and look down upon it. Yet no physical eyes can see that person leaving or hovering above the body.

This is because the spirit-person exists within another dimension.

But the physical world is still a utility of the Supreme Being. We might compare this to a boy's train set. The boy can set up the train set however he wants. He can set up the tracks however he wants and put trees and houses where he wants. The train set does not limit the boy from being able to rearrange things the way he wants.

In the same way, the Creator can rearrange things however He wants. He could also appear to us directly rather than send angels. He can rearrange molecules in the physical world in such a way to allow Himself or His angels to appear to our physical eyes however He wishes. 

With a simple thought, God has command over all things.

Why does the Supreme Being send angels?

We know that He can appear, and has appeared in this world. But why does He often send His angels rather than appear Himself?

Just consider the phenomena we now call "social networking." In social networking, people are trying to stay connected with other people even though we are each sitting alone at our computers. The idea is to allow people to connect through the computer internet. Why?

Because we are social entities. We thrive off of relationships. We want to engage with others because deep within we are all part of a big networked family.

And the Supreme Being is the head of that family. The Supreme Being enjoys all the relationships that exist not only between Himself and others: He also enjoys the relationships that exist between His children.

But in order to enjoy those relationships between His children, He engages in those relationships. He stays connected with those relationships.

This doesn't mean that we get to dictate how the Supreme Being communicates with us. He dictates that, and enjoys exchanging relationships with those who reciprocate those relationships.

Those of us in the physical world have not been reciprocating in our relationship with God. God loves each of us and cares for each of us without limit. Yet most of us have forgotten Him. Many of us don't want to have anything to do with Him.

We would rather seek our own enjoyment without Him. Most of us want to forget God in our daily lives. When we receive something, we revel in ourselves.

For this reason, God stays aloof. He doesn't want to intrude upon our self-centered seeking of our own satisfaction. 

So if there is something we should know, God typically informs those of us in the physical world by sending His angels - those who are connected with Him. Those who care for Him and enjoy exchanging a loving relationship with Him. Those who, when they receive something, want to immediately share that with the Supreme Being.

Why can't we see God around us?

God hides Himself within the physical world. These physical eyes and senses cannot see Him. Why?

Because we want to be away from Him. We don't want the Supreme Being around. 

Seeing the Supreme Being would destroy our ability to go out and chase our desires. Suddenly we would be faced with coming to terms with our relationship with God. Could we still go out and chase our dreams if God appeared before us?

Let's say for example, we were in a theater watching a movie, and suddenly the person sitting next to us wants to talk about the news. They want to tell us about some political conflict going on somewhere in the world. Would we want to stop watching the movie and hear about the political conflict? 

No. We won't want to talk about politics. We want to watch our movie. We want to get lost in the movie. We went to the movie theater to get away from the news.

People typically go to movies to escape. This is why movies have been the most popular during times of economic hardship. More people want to escape their lives.

For the same reason people escape to the movies, we are here in the physical world wearing these physical bodies to escape our spiritual lives. We don't want to focus on the Supreme Being.

Why not? It is not as though the Supreme Being is a downer like the news or politics. The Supreme Being is the Perfect Person. He is beautiful, kind, gracious, and warm. He is not the vengeful angry person that the institutional scribes and translators of the Old Testament have made Him out to be.

The reason is self-centeredness. We are focused on our own enjoyment. We don't want to focus on someone else's enjoyment, unless of course it gets us something.

Is God jealous?

Translators and transcribers of the Biblical texts have made God out to be a jealous and angry God. Is He?

Not only have they made God out to be jealous and vengeful; they have also made Him out to be imperfect. They have essentially reflected their own imperfections onto God.

The design of the physical world is perfect. But this world is not perfect because we have the choice to change things. 

God set this world up to allow us the freedom to make choices and receive the consequences of those choices. This is perfect because it allows us to make mistakes and then learn from them.

It is what some people might call a sandbox. This world allows us to experiment. It allows us to learn about love through consequential activities.

This is the genius of this physical world. It may be miserable and hard, but it is also an excellent learning experience.

Meanwhile, behind it all, the Supreme Being is the most fun, loving and gentle Person. He is the most entertaining, the biggest comic, the biggest jokster of them all. This is why there are so many hilarious events and situations that occur in this world.

So it is not the Supreme Being that is the downer. The Supreme Being is perfect in every way. He wouldn't be God if He weren't.

Why do we avoid God?

It is not specifically the Supreme Being we are trying to avoid.

We are trying to avoid our true selves. We are trying to escape our relationship with the Supreme Being. Why?

Because we are the inferior in our relationship with God. We are the subordinate.

Just look around: Does any of us want to be subordinates? Or servants? No one wants to be a servant or an inferior here in the physical world. We all want to be on top. We want to be masters. We want to call the shots. We want everyone to adore us and applaud us. We want to tell others what to do.

This is our disease. We don't want to face who we really are because we want to be in God's position. We want to be on top, and unfortunately, He's on top.

When a person wants what he or she doesn't have and sees someone else has, that is called envy.

We each want to be the Supreme Being, and this is why we are here in the physical world. To learn our position. We were created by Him, which gives us a tiny portion of Himself. But we must learn our position in this relationship. 

This is why we were effectively tossed out of the spiritual dimension into the physical dimension and given these physical bodies. To learn about love. To learn about relationships.

These physical bodies allow us to play out our goals to be on top. Even if we are in the lowest echelon of society we can still pretend we are the king of something or someone. Even if we are a bicycle messenger in a big city we can consider our bike and our clients as belonging to us. We can think of ourselves as the best bicycle messenger in the world - the fastest biker or whatever.

Even if we are the poorest person we can still get married and have a family and be the king of our family. We can rule our children as their master.

And if we don't have children around to boss around, we can always get a pet and be the master of this creature.

No matter our position, we can still consider ourselves the master at something or over someone: The best. The greatest. Even if we aren't, we can still imagine we are.

Whatever we are doing, we can still consider ourselves superior. The physical world was designed to create this illusion. If we want to set our sights on a definite superiority at something - we can do it here. We can be the world's greatest ping pong player. Or the world's greatest Frisbee thrower. Each of us can find something. This is why there are so many different Guinness world records. Because everyone wants to be the greatest at something. This is why people get depressed when they lose or find out they lost something.

Facing our true position requires education. This is why we are here. 

Not very many of us are ready to face the fact that we are a subordinate with no abilities other than those given to us by the Supreme Being. 

This is why we are here, and why the Supreme Being doesn't typically appear before our eyes while we are here. We don't want to see the Supreme Being - we want to be supreme.

But those who strive to come to terms with who they really are - those who want to know the Supreme Being - the Supreme Being sends His loving messengers to show us how. Why?

This is why Jesus said:
"I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me." (John 14:31)
When a person does what someone else commands, they are acting as a servant. A subordinate. Now when that service is done with love, this is called loving service. They are called a loving servant.

The Supreme Being does not want to force us to serve Him. He wants us to love Him. Service is what people naturally do when they love someone.

It is said that we are created in the likeness of God. This is because God wants to exchange love and we want to exchange love. We are all about love. We want and need love. Even when we are striving to be master we still need others to love us.

This is because we need to return to our loving relationship with the Supreme Being. The so-called 'love' between bodies of the physical world is not true love. It is not the unconditional love offered by the Supreme Being. Only that true love - God's unconditional love - will truly satisfy us. This is why Jesus' most important instruction was:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)