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