Without A Doubt #likeJesus

We call him Doubting Thomas.  The name now applies to anyone who struggles to believe.  This moment of doubt is the one thing Thomas is remembered for.  “Thomas?  Oh, he’s the one who doubted, right?”  What a legacy.

But I think Thomas has gotten a bad rap.  The other 10 disciples had heard the report from Mary Magdalene.  She had seen Jesus and immediately ran to tell the disciples.  You get the impression that they doubted her report.  They had the message from the angel delivered to Peter and John.  They had Mary Magdalene’s eyewitness encounter.   They had heard from Cleopas and the other disciple who’d met Him on the road to Emmaus.  Cleopas tells them Jesus had also appeared to Simon.  But they needed to see Him for themselves.

That same night, Jesus appeared to the disciples.  He showed them His scars.  They were overjoyed.  “It’s true!  Jesus is risen!  We’ve seen Him with our own eyes, heard His voice, shared a meal with Him.  It’s true!”

But Thomas wasn’t there.  He missed it.  They saw and believed.  He didn’t yet see, and so he doubted.

It wasn’t until 8 days later that Thomas finally saw Jesus.  Imagine how hard those 8 days had to be.  All your friends are overjoyed.  All their conversations must have centered around seeing the resurrected Christ, remembering His words now and how He’d promised He would rise.  I can only imagine the emptiness Thomas felt.  He had to want to believe them.  He just couldn’t.  They’d seen the unbelievable, and believed.  He hadn’t.

It appears that this encounter 8 days later with Thomas is FOR Thomas!  Jesus comes for Thomas.  He knows Thomas must see to believe.  He wants Thomas to be able to believe.

Thomas had said, “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 it.”

Maybe it’s Thomas statement, “Unless I see…  I will not believe.”  Maybe his doubt was stronger than the others.

Jesus does say to him, “Stop doubting and believe.”

But I love that Jesus gave Thomas what he needed to believe.

“Peace be with you.  Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.”

I have moments of doubt.  I doubt God’s plan.  I doubt God’s power.  I doubt God’s provision.  When I doubt, it’s really God’s character that I’m calling into question.  I don’t think about it that way, but it’s true.

When I doubt God’s plan, I question His wisdom and sovereignty.

When I doubt God’s power, I question His greatness and authority.

When I doubt God’s provision, I question His love and goodness.

But I love that Jesus gave Thomas what he needed to believe.

He gives me what I need to believe too.  He loves me.  He doesn’t want me to doubt.  He wants me to trust Him.  He wants me to know Him, to know His character, and to believe.

They say “seeing is believing.”  That’s true.  That was the case for Thomas.  That is often the case for me.  God proves Himself to me over and over again.

I want my faith to continue to grow, though, so that for me, “believing is seeing.”

That’s what Jesus challenged Thomas with.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

“Believing is seeing.”  That’s what the writer of Hebrews calls faith.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”   Hebrews 11:1

“Certain of what we do not see!”

Father, continue to grow that kind of a faith in me.  You gave Thomas what He needed to believe.  Thank you for giving me what I need to believe.  I want to be certain of what I do not see.  I want to know you so well that I trust your character completely.  I want to fully believe before seeing.

 

To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM

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