Doubting Thomas

Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand in His side, I will not believe.’ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them, Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your hand here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ 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 those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ [John 20:24-29]

Until recently, I always wondered why Thomas would not believe. Here was Jesus, the Son of God. Thomas spent over three years listening to Jesus explain truths concerning His Father, His death, and His resurrection. Thomas watched as five loaves and two fish feed five thousand men plus women and children. Was he not the one in John 11 who was willing to die with Christ, proving a level of commitment to Him and to His word.

Yet, is it not in most of us to want to see the impressive before we commit to belief? We say things like, “That sounds too good to be true. I will believe it when I see it.” and “Seeing is believing.” It is right that we should want some proof or validation for what we have not seen. Validation through evaluation of visible evidence gives us greater security that the beliefs we hold are right. We gain confidence when we know because we have seen.

However, we are not always going to be able to see. Not many will have an opportunity to visit every continent and country around the world. We have confidence in the existence of those continents and countries because trustworthy men have shared their experiences with us. For this reason, we can be thankful for Thomas’s unwillingness to believe without seeing Jesus. Thomas saw the nail prints in Jesus’s side. He was able to put his hand in Jesus’s side. His response to this was an overwhelming belief that this was the same Jesus he watched die on the cross.

Certainly none of us will see Jesus in the flesh. We will never put our hand in His literal side. However, we can have confidence that what we read concerning Jesus’s resurrection is true, because a doubting man like Thomas willingly tested the evidence. Thomas looked at Jesus, and knew that this could only be Jesus Christ the Son of God. There was no other alternative. All the evidence pointed Thomas to that fact. All evidence written for us points to that same fact.

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and believing you may have life in His name. [John 20:30-31]

May we seriously consider the evidence written for us, that we might come to the conclusion Thomas came to: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He was manifested in the flesh. He did many wondrous works in the sight of his disciples. He did die for our sins. He has risen. He will return to bring His saints to glory.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life– the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us– that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. [I John 1:1-4]

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One thought on “Doubting Thomas”

  1. Thomas wanted to be sure, maybe a little too much in the circumstances, but the aftermath of his certainty was a life of service and dedication to the Lord he followed, unto death. National Geographic had an article on The Apostles in their March, 2012 issue, which I read online after someone mentioned it to me. Thomas is a major character in the article, and it highlights the historical likelihood that he carried the gospel to India where his success in establishing the Christian faith among the Hindus there resulted in his murder. May we all resolve our doubts as thoroughly as Thomas did and have the dedication to live for Christ or die for him if the need arises.

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