Saturday, May 24, 2014

Doubting Thomas

Thomas was one of the 12 apostles. The first time we really hear anything about him is in Gospel of John. Do you remember the story of Lazarus, Martha and Mary’s brother?

Jesus had fled Jerusalem because the authorities were going to arrest him. Soon afterwards, he received word that his good friend Lazarus was very sick in Bethany, a tiny village outside of Jerusalem. When Jesus said he wanted to go see his friend, most of his followers didn’t think it was a good idea. They knew there were people in the area who wanted to kill Jesus. But Thomas said, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” Even though Thomas figured something bad would happen if they returned to Jerusalem, he had the courage to stay by Jesus’ side and die with him.

If you remember, Jesus and his followers did go to see Lazarus, who was buried by the time they arrived. Jesus called to Lazarus, and he came out of his tomb.

Some time passed, and we don’t hear about Thomas again until the Last Supper. Jesus knew he was leaving the disciples and he spent his time telling his followers that he was going to his father’s house to prepare a place for them. Then he would come again and take them with him.

As the Scriptures tell us, Jesus is arrested, sentenced to die, crucified, and rose again three days later. On the day of his resurrection, Jesus appears to the disciples, who are in hiding. But Thomas isn’t there. When he arrives, the other disciples tell Thomas that Jesus appeared to them and he doesn’t believe them. Thomas says, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” He had the courage to die with Jesus, but his faith wasn’t strong enough to believe in the resurrection.

Eight days later, Jesus appears again to his followers, and this time Thomas is with them. Now, all of Thomas’s doubts are wiped away and he says, “My Lord and my God!” This is where Jesus says something very important. He tells Thomas that he believes because he has seen Jesus, but “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We are those people. We did not see the resurrected Jesus, but we believe in him. We have faith that what the Bible says is the Truth, it is God’s Word.

Sometimes we’re like Doubting Thomas. A bad thing happens and our faith isn’t always strong enough to keep us believing. Just like the apostles, who were scared about the future after the death of Jesus, we hear God’s Word but don’t take it to heart. How can we be more like the Thomas whose doubts were wiped away by seeing the resurrected Jesus?

Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.

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