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In john 20:28, why did Thomas call Jesus "My Lord and My God"? 

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

The Greek theos translated God is not restricted to being a name for God, the creator. It can also be applied to God’s representative, magistrates and judges.

Jesus is not God. Jesus is the Son of God. That the word theos can be used of God’s representative is made clear in the use of the word by Jesus in John 10:33-36.

  • John 10:33-36 The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God (theos). 34  Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, "You are gods (theos)’? 35 If He called them gods (theos), to whom the word of God (theos) came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God (theos)?

There is only one God, as we are repeatedly told in the Old Testament:

  • Deuteronomy 4:35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.
  • Deuteronomy 4:39 Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
  • 1 Kings 8:60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other.
  • Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, 6  That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
  • Isaiah 45:14 Thus says the LORD: The labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush And of the Sabeans, men of stature, Shall come over to you, and they shall be yours; They shall walk behind you, They shall come over in chains and they shall bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, Surely God is in you, And there is no other. There is no other God.
  • Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
  • Isaiah 45:22 Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
  • Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,
  • Isaiah 47:8 Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, Who dwell securely, Who say in your heart, I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know the loss of children.
  • Joel 2:27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.

Jesus is not God. God is the God of Jesus.

  • John 20:17 Jesus said to her, Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God (theos) and your God (theos).

Jesus as God’s Son now has all authority as God’s representative. God has given him the authority:

  • Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
  • John 5:22,23 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.

Further, we might conclude that Thomas recognised that God was in His Son.

  • John 14:9-11 Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
  • Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2  has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through (RATHER 'on account of) whom also He made the worlds; 3  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4  having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

I hope you find this helpful,
God bless,