Speaking Of Life 5021 │ Stop Doubting and Believe
Have you ever heard someone being referred to as a “Doubting Thomas”? If you have, then you were probably aware that this was not meant as a compliment. It is typically used to describe someone who is a skeptic. Someone that is known to utter, “I’ll believe it when I see it!”
Shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples locked themselves away in fear that the Jewish officials might come for them next. But Jesus appeared to them in their locked room. To prove that he was real, he showed them his nail-scarred hands and feet.
One of the disciples was missing, however, and here is where Doubting Thomas comes in. John shares the story:
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.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
We can relate with Thomas, can’t we? As excited as the other disciples were that they had seen Jesus, Thomas was skeptical. For whatever reason, he was not present when Jesus showed up and he got quite specific about what it would take for him to believe.
A week later Jesus reappears, and this time Thomas is there. Jesus tells Thomas to go ahead and touch him. Then he tells Thomas to stop doubting and believe. With the exclamation, “My Lord and My God!”, Thomas becomes the first to acknowledge who Jesus really was and is.
Like Thomas, we all have those moments of doubt. Moments where we wonder if God can hear us, or if he sees what we are going through. Does he really care about me? We want to believe, but doubt enters in.
In another place in Scripture, a distraught father of an afflicted child blurts out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). This is beautiful because it describes us so well. We believe, and we ask Jesus to help us where we doubt. He can be trusted to answer that prayer. Because he is the one who has perfect belief, and believes on our behalf.
Thomas didn’t stay a doubter. Tradition says that Thomas was the first missionary to India. In 52 A.D. he sailed from Palestine and arrived on the Kerala coast. He was martyred twenty years later, but not before founding seven flourishing churches. In India today, there are nearly 70 million believers.
Doubt did not have the last word in Thomas’ life, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it will not have the last word with us either.
I’m Michelle Fleming, Speaking of Life.