Love accommodates. Love finds what the other needs and aims for it. Love goes out of the way to make sure the other “gets it” and feels loved.
Not only is this helpful when thinking about your relationships, but it’s a great way to think of how God loves you. The whole idea that “love accommodates” is exactly what is going on in the resurrection appearances of John 20.
What does it look like for God to accommodate to us? Why does God accommodate? Doesn’t it tick God off if he accommodates and someone like Thomas gets all dramatic and demands even more from him?
Faithful When We Are Faithless
After his resurrection, in John 20, Jesus appears three times—to Mary, the disciples, and then to Thomas. Each person or group had a different encounter from Jesus. They got exactly what they needed in order to believe.
In each of these, a beautiful truth is pictured: when they lack faith, he is faithful by accommodating to their need and weakness.
To Each His Own Proof
Mary is as the tomb crying and sees both angels and Jesus, but only believes after she hears Jesus call her name. Jesus was faithful and accommodated to her by calling her name, which is exactly what she needed.
Jesus appears to the disciples when they are cowering in fear behind a locked door. He arrives and declares peace, but his sudden appearance causes even more fear. It is only after Jesus showed them his hands and side that they were filled with joy at the sight of him. Once they saw Jesus, they just needed to see the wounds to certify that it was him. Once they did, they were good to go. Jesus was faithful by showing his wounds to them, which is exactly what they needed.
God condescends and accommodates to us in the incarnation.
For Thomas, hearing the voice of Jesus and seeing his wounds were not enough. He needed to put his finger in the wounds. And what does Jesus do? He shows up and accommodates and offers his wounds for the touching. Jesus was faithful by offering his wounds for Thomas’ inspection, which is exactly what he needed.
Jesus Accommodates Us
God accommodates to us where we are in our weakness, confusion, doubt, and fear to communicate his good news that we are loved to the uttermost, that we are not alone, and that our doubts don’t worry him.
I like the idea of Jesus accommodating to our specific conditions and weakness, so that we would be able to trust him. I think this is the very heart of Christianity. God condescends and accommodates to us in the incarnation. And at the moment of his glory, the resurrection, he accommodates even more to his followers who are faithless.