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Faith Moment
September 16, 2013
No Doubt

If I were to mention the names of Jesus’ disciples and ask you to write down the first word that came to your mind for each one, there would probably be a variety of responses for all the disciples but one. If I mentioned the name Thomas, there is little question about the word most everyone would write down. It would be the word doubt. Indeed, so closely have we associated Thomas with this word, that we have coined a phrase to describe him: "Doubting Thomas."

Thomas’s reputation comes from an incident shortly after Jesus’ resurrection when He made an appearance to His disciples in a home in Jerusalem. Thomas was not present, and when he heard about the event, he refused to believe that Jesus was truly alive and that the disciples had actually seen him. Thomas said, “Unless I feel the nail prints in his hands, I will not believe.”

You may be interested to know that in the first three gospels we are told nothing at all about Thomas. It is in John's Gospel that he emerges as a distinct personality, and even then, there are only 155 words about him. But, while there is not a lot written about this disciple in the Bible, there is more than just one description.

Late in His ministry, when Jesus announced his intent to go to Jerusalem, the disciples thought that it would be certain death for all of them. Surprisingly, it was Thomas who said, “Then let us go, so that we may die with him.” It was a courageous statement, yet we don't remember him for that.

We also fail to notice that in the story of Thomas' doubt we have the one place in the all the Gospels where the Divinity of Christ is bluntly and unequivocally stated. It is interesting that the story that gives Thomas his infamous nickname is the same story that has Thomas making an earth shattering confession of faith. Look at his confession: "My Lord, and my God." Not teacher. Not healer. Not Messiah. But God! It is the only place where Jesus is called God without qualification of any kind. The words are uttered with conviction…by “doubting” Thomas. “My Lord and my God!” These are certainly not the words of a doubter.

Thomas is not unlike the rest of us. We have our moments of great faith and our moments of doubt. Jesus understands it well. Notice how He treated Thomas. Rather than reject him for his unbelief, Jesus lovingly made certain that Thomas had every opportunity for faith. He appeared to Thomas and invited him to, indeed, “feel the nail prints” and believe.

Are there times when you doubt? Perhaps we should be as honest about it as Thomas was. Jesus’ loving response may lead us to our greatest confession of faith.

With Love,
Mike

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