The Twins

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.”

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!” 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.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:24-29

Poor old Thomas.

He gets ridiculed for his doubt. How in the world could he not believe Jesus had risen from the dead?

But back in Thomas’ day and in mine as well, people died, they got buried, and short of divine intervention, that’s how they stayed, dead as a doorknob–at least in this present world.

And yet at the same time, we know Thomas was privy to the fact that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. He was aware of all the particulars on that spectacularly amazing day.

Still, how many other folks had managed to drag themselves back from the grave? How many other people took an abbreviated dirt nap before awakening themselves and arising to walk in this world again?

Zip.

Nada.

Zilch.

None.

Not a singe one.

Can you cut Thomas a little slack? Can you give him a little bit of wiggle room? I mean, all he had to go on was the testimony of his fellow disciples. And when you get down too it, they weren’t necessarily a stellar crowd.

Among them were poor fisherman, a political zealot, a betrayer, and a denier. None of them were scholars. Their qualifications, behaviors and attitudes sometimes left a lot to be desired. So before we jump on old Thomas, maybe we ought to ask ourselves if we would have believed under the same circumstances…

I suspect I would have been a twin to Thomas. I suspect that though I would have wanted to believe, I would have wrestled with confusion, stress, frustration, and well, whatever meager evidence my eyes could have seen.

The truth is, I am a lot like Thomas to this very day and what I would have wrestled with then, applies now.

Please don’t get me wrong. I believe in God. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Jesus. I believe in what Jesus did. I believe in what He is still doing in the lives of people everywhere. I believe Jesus is coming back to take home those who belong to Him.

I have faith.

But I also have doubt.

Some days it is hard to really believe God cares for me.

Some days I really struggle with the the idea God has my best interests at heart.

And almost every day I wonder if God’s timing will ever be on time for me.

I am a twin to Thomas the Doubter.

Or maybe his clone.

But even as I doubt, I believe.

I believe.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” (Khalil Gibran)

Come See Me This Weekend at Discover Rally!

Les Ferguson, Jr.

6 thoughts on “The Twins

  1. I so agree Les. Doubt is not the same as unbelief. In a sense it is good to doubt and examine beliefs. In the aftermath our faith might be a bit stronger and perhaps a little simpler?

    That said, what Jesus said does challenge me to believe before I see. I so want to lay hold of that blessing. I want to have Jacob’s attitude of not letting go before I am blessed.

    Have a great week Les!

  2. My first experience with Jesus was at age 11 in a Baptist Church in South Louisiana. My first doubt storm was at the age of 12. It has been that way ever since.

    The truth is the truth. I have always been a man with “a foot in two boats”. What I have planted in faith, I have dug up in doubt. I have always been analytical and introspective. I have always wanted to take things apart and look inside. When I was sure of something, I always went back and checked to make sure I was sure. Some call it OCD. I just call it being me.

    I am the one who prays with one eye open. When others close their eyes, tilt back their head, and raise their hands in worship, I am the one with my hands in my pockets, staring at them, wondering what they have that I do not. For every blessing and protection of God that is witnessed to, I can name a thousand examples of where He did absolutely nothing. For every time He “showed someone the way”, I can tell tales where he remained as silent as the grave.

    I have been on the scene of many a premature death, and heard verses of Scripture quoted, and spiritual platitudes offered. Both nauseated me in the face of senseless death and suffering. I have watched a child of 5 die in the arms of a nurse who pulled over at an accident, and heard the father in the ER wale and grieve like no one I had ever heard. I have notified more than one set of parents that they will never see their son or daughter alive again. I have taken a father to the funeral home to ID the son of his who didn’t have is wallet in his pocket that night when he was killed by an idiot.

    And yet……I cannot “not believe”. I cannot turn loose of the Christ that I believe loves me, even when my doubts are often times more real to me than He is. Doubt is my real companion in faith. I don’t know a faith without it. This doubt is not volitional, and in fact, is most unwelcome. Sometimes I must pray loudly to squelch out the sounds of its accusations.

    I would not choose this journey for anyone. It is a lonely and dark place, yet it is a place where God still lives, and where I live too. There are days when I wish that I had someone Else’s brain, spirit, experience, assurance, but in the end I am who I am. When I have tried to walk away and take another path, it has never worked. Before I know it “Jesus” is on my lips, and I cry for help and direction.

    Thomas is my favorite disciple. I named my son after him. My church is named after him. If I were to warm myself by a 33AD fire somewhere in the Holy Land, I would hope that Thomas would show up. There I would tell him that I understand. I truly understand…..

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