“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 into His side, I will not believe.”
Are you a doubting Thomas? It is amazing how many phrases and stories we use in society today that come from the Bible. I have heard this phrase many times, and for much of my life, I had no idea where it came from. It was just something you heard people say.
So what does it mean to be a doubting Thomas? Well, in society today it is used whenever you someone does not believe or join in with the group. In most cases it is used in a secular way. It may be a new idea at work, or a concept you are trying to explain to a friend. Most of the time, it does not have spiritual connotations. But that is what we will now discuss.
Have events in your life caused you to doubt your faith? Life can be difficult. It is quite understandable. I can tell you I have. I can remember some specific times in my life that my faith was questioned, and in those times, those thoughts crept into my head.
Maybe God isn’t listening.
Maybe He is not hearing my prayers.
Maybe I am really alone.
That is exactly what happened to Thomas. His Messiah was gone, or so he thought. They had just crucified Him, and the apostles were in hiding. Yes Jesus had told him he would return, but Thomas’ faith was weak. Mind you, we are not talking about a distant acquaintance. Thomas had followed Jesus, saw His miracles, heard His teachings. Yet still he doubted. If someone so close to Jesus could falter, isn’t it understandable when we do the same after encountering trials and tribulations?
“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas 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 finger 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.”
What a beautiful passage, and how much it shows us. Jesus knew that we would appear to Thomas, and He also knew that He would not be on Earth for us. He would dwell inside us, but would not be here in flesh. He needed a way to explain what He expected of us. Thomas did not believe until He saw Jesus in the flesh, even when His fellow apostles told Him they saw Jesus. But our savior needs us to believe, even if we cannot see Him in flesh. Like the father who grabs your hand before crossing the street, He is grabbing our hearts, and telling us to trust him.
There are many doubting Thomas’ in today’s society, and what an influence they can be on us. We are to hold steady, and put our trust in Jesus. No we cannot see Him in the flesh, but we can feel Him in our hearts, we can read His teachings in the Bible, and we can see the results of following Him in our lives and the lives of other faithful followers.
Easier said than done I know. We are weak, and we are imperfect. As part of our fallen nature we are easily influenced by the ways of this world. It can be a minefield out there trying to make sense of what we read in the papers ( does anybody read papers anymore) , what we hear on TV, and most of all those troubles in our own lives, that sometimes make us doubt as to what God’s plan really is for us. But as Christians, we are taught to live by our faith. We won’t understand everything, but we are to put our trust in Jesus, because we know He has our best interests at heart.
“See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness”
Don’t be a doubting Thomas.