When Doubting Thomas Became a Believer ~ blog
Poor Thomas. Labeled Doubting Thomas somewhere along the line. The picture above was painted by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio around 1602. Some call Thomas a skeptic but there are times when a little skepticism is of value. He thought the other disciples were feeding him fake news and so he wanted proof.
Was that a bad thing or a good thing…only God can be the accurate judge. Talk about missing out on one of the most important moments in time for the other disciples. He ran out to McFalafel’s to catch their two for 1 shekel deal to feed the troops. Being a servant, like Jesus showed him by washing their feet…Thomas gets back, and everyone is in shock and awe having Jesus suddenly appear in their midst with the door locked.
They are all still dizzy with the adrenaline rush of seeing Jesus alive and Thomas is wondering if someone opened the bottles of wine while they were waiting for lunch. Thomas missed it and in response to their incredulous words, he said these words…
“Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
The painting above is called The Incredulity of Saint Thomas. That word means to be in the state of being unwilling or unable to believe something. My take on Thomas was that he was a man that needed the facts to believe someone or something. He needed to see for himself and was not going to believe anybody unless he saw the evidence so that he could decide for himself.
I don’t think that made him a bad man or a man of weak faith. You have to admit that jumping to the conclusion that Jesus was alive based on the other disciples telling him so would be a strong case to believe. But I mean really??? He saw Him crucified, prepared for burial, and placed in the sealed tomb. The door at the end of life says “Dead” on it and virtually nobody who goes through that door comes back after 3 days.
Well, there was that Lazarus guy who came back after 4 days…but Jesus did that and Jesus was now the dead one.
As the 8 days passed, I can only imagine that Thomas was feeling more and more isolated. The others must have been thinking about what they should do next…since Jesus was alive, but they had no idea where He was or what to do.
And with each passing day Thomas was probably feeling more isolated but with no Jesus showing up perhaps he was feeling more and more justified in his position of being the antagonist. Maybe some of the disciples themselves were starting to wonder if what they actually saw and heard really happened.
So, Jesus decides to end the suspense and grant Thomas the proof he declared he needed to believe. Eight days later Jesus appears again suddenly, unexpectedly, but graciously. And after greeting everyone says to Thomas…
“Place your finger here, and see My hands, and take your hand and put it into My side, and do not continue in disbelief, but be a believer.”
No one knows if Thomas did place his finger in the hole in His hands or if he inserted his hand into the spear wound in His side. Maybe seeing was enough. All we know are the words he said in that incredible moment of Jesus showing Thomas how much He loved him by answering his demand. And Thomas says…
“My Lord and my God!!!”
I would be surprised if he had not fallen on his knees and made that profession. He demanded the evidence. All the others had seen and believed. He was simply asking for the same evidence so that he could believe as well.
And then Jesus says these words…
“Because you have seen Me, have you now believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
That is us…that is you and that is me. We have not seen Jesus, but we have believed. We have never literally heard His voice, yet I have heard Him speak to me through His Word and on a rare occasion heard what I thought was His voice in my mind.
One time I asked the Lord what He liked about me. I was driving to work one morning, and that question just popped into my mind and so I prayed it. I mean I knew He loved me but what did He like about me. Was there anything about me that brought Him joy or pleasure?
I heard nothing and so I thought to myself…stupid question.
However, on the next day at the same place on the road I asked the question again… ”Lord what do you like about me? I know you love me but what do you like about me?”
And suddenly and totally unexpectedly I hear His one-word answer and it cut me to the core of my being. It was so shocking I immediately began to weep with tears of joy. And what was that one word He said in answering the question of what did He like about me? He said…
Let that sink in because I believe He likes everything about you as well. Certainly, He does not love our sin…but He has paid for all our sins and they are all forgiven. Are there are things about us that need to improve” Of course. However, Jesus sees us as we will be. He sees us as already righteous and He tells us that in Hebrews 10:12…
“For by one offering He has perfected for all time
those who are being sanctified!”
Listen, my friends…Jesus loves you more than you can ever imagine…in spite of our sexual brokenness. He wants to help us all be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that will happen when you get serious about your recovery and join one of our Online Support Teams. Or a group of other believers who are being honest with one another and supporting one another every day…like we do in 180.