Doubting Thomas

person holding brown stone with believe print
 
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
(John 20:24-25)
 
I wonder what I would have said if I were in Thomas’ place.  It was Easter evening.  The disciples were in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was taken captive by the Temple guards as if He were some heinous criminal.  It was then that Thomas and his cohorts ran off and locked themselves behind closed doors.  They were filled with fear.  They knew Jesus would be heading to the cross.  Their fear was that the same treatment would be coming to them—guilt by association.

That was three days earlier.  This was Sunday.  Thomas, no doubt, heard all the rumors about a resurrection.  Some of the women claim they saw Jesus—alive!  A couple of the disciples ran to the tomb, but found it empty.  That was still no proof that Jesus was alive.

Later on that Sunday, Thomas made his way out of the closed room.  Perhaps he was sent to bring back dinner.  Maybe he just needed to get out of the house for a walk.  Whatever the case, on his return he is met by excited disciples, shouting “We have seen the Lord!”  Right.  This was no time for practical jokes.  As the disciples are insistent that they saw Jesus alive, Thomas will ask for proof, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

And now we call him, “Doubting Thomas.”  It’s a shame, really.  It was much before Palm Sunday that Jesus told His disciples He was going to Jerusalem.  They warned Jesus not to enter that city, as there were many leaders of the church who sought to kill Him.  Jesus insisted.  This is the same Thomas, who, when Jesus told His followers He was going to Jerusalem, said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him (John 11:16).

How attitudes can change!  But we know that.  A simple examination of our own lives will bear this out.  How easy it is for us to proclaim our undying commitment to Jesus when things are moving along just as we planned.  But, when there is a bump in the road and life isn’t following our blueprint, it is easy for us to question God’s will, God’s plans—even God’s presence and love.  We become doubters. 

This may cause us shame, but the Lord still loves us when we question and doubt.  His love for us never ends.  The Good News is that our relationship with the Lord is absolutely based on His commitment to us, which moves us to hold to Him by faith.

Prayer: Father in heaven, You sent Your Son Jesus to be my Savior.  You sent your Holy Spirit to give me a living faith in my Savior.  Forgive me for those times my faith wavers and doubt creeps into my life.  Strengthen my faith that I may always be confident in Your never-ending love for me.  I pray this in my Savior’s name.  Amen.

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