Thomas in the Bible
Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples, had the nickname Doubting Thomas, but I think that is a bit unfair. I have always thought of Thomas as more of a skeptic than a doubter. After all, Thomas did not ask for a special revelation from Jesus. He simply asked for the same proof the other disciples had. Thomas was the kind of guy who wanted to know for himself. He was his own man. He would not let others do his thinking for him.
"Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 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.' Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.' Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"
Bible Commentary on "Doubting Thomas"
That one day in seven (Sunday) should be religiously observed, was an appointment from the beginning. And that, in the kingdom of the Messiah, the first day of the week should be that solemn day, was pointed out, in that Christ on that day once and again met his disciples in a religious assembly. The religious observance of that day has come down to us through every age of the church. There is not an unbelieving word in our tongues, nor thought in our minds, but it is known to the Lord Jesus; and he was pleased to accommodate himself even to Thomas, rather than leave him in his unbelief. We ought thus to bear with the weak, (Romans 15:1, Romans 15:2) . This warning is given to all. If we are faithless, we are Christless and graceless, hopeless and joyless. Thomas was ashamed of his unbelief, and cried out, My Lord and my God. He spoke with affection, as one that took hold of Christ with all his might; "My Lord and my God." Sound and sincere believers, though slow and weak, shall be graciously accepted of the Lord Jesus. It is the duty of those who read and hear the gospel, to believe, to embrace the doctrine of Christ, and that (1 John 5:11)
How did Jesus respond to Thomas?
What did Jesus do with such a man? He made a special resurrection appearance for him. He condescended to Thomas and his desire to know for himself. What amazes me about this is that Jesus came to Thomas on his level. He didn't rebuke him. He didn't humiliate him. He could see that deep down in Thomas's heart, he really wanted to know God. Jesus came to him and said, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands, and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing" (John 20:27).
Lessons from Doubting Thomas
I like Thomas, because by nature I, too, am a skeptical person. I have never been one to believe something just because someone says it is true.
You might be someone who is a bit skeptical, a bit unsure of your faith. You may have a lot of questions. Deep down inside, you want to know God. You want to know for yourself. The risen Lord has something for you. He can turn your skepticism into belief.
Just come to Him with your questions. Come to Him with your doubts. You, too, will be able to say, "My Lord and my God!"
Taken from "New Knowledge for the Skeptic" by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).
What we can learn from Thomas' Doubt
Jesus reminded Thomas and all his followers that, “because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) This, of course, highlights the importance of faith in the life of Christ’s followers, then and today.
Jesus himself had also previously taught that “truly, I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Jesus may have challenged Thomas’s doubt, but he also didn’t condemn him for his lack of faith or pessimism. Instead, he came down to Thomas’s level, overcoming his fear and uncertainty with compassion and grace. How much more is Christ willing to do for those who struggle with faith today?
History may remember Doubting Thomas, but when it came time for Thomas to finally enter eternity and be reunited with his lord, Jesus didn’t remember Thomas’s lapses in faith or greet him as the Doubting Thomas. He instead welcomed his loyal friend with open arms.
Excerpt from Crosswalk.com
Photo Credit: Unsplash/PaolaAguilar