(Part of the Effective Bible Study web page group.)
"And Thomas answered and said to him,
`My Lord and my God!'
Jesus said to him, 'Thomas, because you have seen Me you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen
and have believed'."
John 20:28 is an exchange between the Apostle Thomas & Our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. The exchange stems from Thomas' doubt that Jesus had appeared to the other Apostles, since he wasn't with them, (John 20:25). John 20:28 is Thomas' response to a subsequent visit by Our Risen Savior, Jesus, during which he was present. Although short, Thomas' statement to Jesus is filled with meaning. Jesus' response in John 20:29 is filled with a much deeper significance.
Thomas, in verse 20:28, calls Jesus both his Lord and his God. The word "God" in this verse is translated from the Greek, "ho theos". Since ho theos literally means, "the God", it is evident that it is being used as a title for the One, True, God. Obviously, " My the God " would make no sense (For a more in-depth explanation see Ho Theos.) It is also noteworthy that in all cases, the use of the title "ho theos" in John's entire Gospel always refers to Yaweh - Jehovah God. Therefore Thomas, an Apostle & Jew, names Jesus, Almighty God. From Jesus' response in John 20:29, we know that Thomas' response was a statement of belief, not some exclamation of surprise, or shock.
In John 20:29, we find Jesus' response to Thomas' declaration of belief. Gently He rebukes Thomas, because he needed tangible proof before he believed that Jesus had risen from the dead. He then goes on to teach that belief without tangible proof is much more desirable. There are those who claim that Jesus' response only addresses Thomas' unbelief that He had risen and appeared to the other Apostles, (John 20:25). However, it is clear that Jesus' response addresses both his unbelief and subsequent statement of belief that Jesus is God. To understand this you need to note the fact that Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for blasphemy, or for violating a Commandment of God. Both Jesus and Thomas, knew that it was blasphemy to call someone GOD, who was in fact not GOD. Also, they knew it was a violation of one of God's Commandments to have any god other than, Jehovah.
- - "You shall not go after other gods. "
Additionally, since Jesus offered no correction concerning Thomas naming Him Jehovah God, it shows that Jesus acknowledges that He is GOD, not 'a god' or some lesser diety.
John 20:28 & 20:29 along with other Scriptural Evidence, disproves the teachings of those, who claim that Jesus is not Jehovah God; but is some lesser god, or just simply a prophet. They also provide support for the belief in the Triune Nature (Trinity) of God.