Saturday, April 29, 2017

What Can We Learn from "Doubting Thomas"?

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 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!” 27 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.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
About a week later, Jesus returns to be with the disciples a second time. This time Thomas was with them, which obviously means he wasn't there the first time. The other disciples affirm that they have seen the Lord.  But that wasn't enough for Thomas who says, "Unless I see the nail marks and put my hand in them and in his side i will not believe." 
Thomas clearly needs physical proof and he doesn't make any bones about it. Talk about honesty.  Thomas was his own man and was going to make his decision based on his seeing Jesus personally, not someone else's rendition. 
So Jesus appears among them, and as he says so often when he appears post-resurrection, "Peace be with you!"  We do not how he got in, but the doors were locked so there was something supernatural in how Jesus came in.  Importantly Jesus already knew Thomas' doubts. And he knew what it was going to take for him to believe.  So he offers him the opportunity to touch the wounds inflicted on him on the cross. 
Then, he somewhat rebukes him saying,  "Stop doubting and believe!
This, of course, is where Thomas gets his name, "doubting Thomas".  
We live in an age of doubt and skepticism. People do not want to believe in something they can't see.  But what I love about Jesus is that he meets the disciples where they are at.  Jesus wishes Thomas would stop doubting and believe, but it doesn't keep him from revealing himself in way that Thomas needed.  
Don't be afraid to ask Jesus for what you need, Thomas did!

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