”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.’”
Because of these words, Thomas will always be remembered as Doubting Thomas
But I think of him more as Pessimistic Thomas. Or maybe Cautious Thomas.
Poor guy, even when his friends offered him hope that Jesus had risen from the dead, Thomas couldn’t quite bring himself to believe it.
I don’t blame him for thinking that his friends might be wrong or easily fooled or perhaps even delusional. Think of what had been happening all around him during the last few weeks.
The world as he once knew it had gone crazy. It had become a place where ordinary men—upstanding, law-abiding citizens—had to fear for their lives. Not because of they were swindlers or thieves or murderers or abusers of any kind.
But simply because of what and in whom they believed.
At the center of this maelstrom was his Lord, a man-God who raised the dead, restored the sick, exercised power over wind and wave, and gave meaning and purpose to Thomas’s very existence.
Yet the world looked at Jesus–teacher, healer, shepherd, a man who never hurt anyone–as a threat.
Like today’s world, they “called good, evil and evil, good,”*** hunted God’s Son as a criminal, tortured, and killed him.
Maybe it all seemed like a bad dream from which there was no waking.
And God let it happen.
Thomas had been close enough to Jesus to feel the chill of those evil forces.
What might they have in store for him?
No wonder he was afraid to trust good news. He could barely believe what he had recently seen with his own eyes much less put stock in hearsay from some emotional friends.
The wounds sin inflicted were painful, deep, and deadly. How could there be any recovering from them?
Thomas wanted to touch, to see, to be sure . . . and Jesus answered his request.
“A week later, Jesus’ disciples were in the house again. Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came in and stood among them. He said, ‘May 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 me but still have believed.’”
I don’t look at Jesus’ last comment so much as a rebuke to Thomas but as a promise to us. We might find ourselves looking around at the things going on in the world today and thinking exactly as Thomas did:
How can we stand against the evil forces of this world?
Why does God seem to stand silently by?
Where is Jesus?
And the Lord answers, “Blessed are those who have not seen me but still have believed.”
Let’s help each other keep believing, and we can be sure that the blessing will come. It might not look the way we expect—but it will come!
Here’s a verse reminder that greatly comforted me this week . . .
I’m thankful that God understands our hearts so well and makes sure to show us again & again that we can trust His.
Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!
***“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” ~Isaiah 5:20~
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