Christians rarely set out to doubt God. For most of us, life simply catches us off guard. Hardship trips us up. When we take our questions to God we grow our faith, but we spiral fast when we go solo with our grief.
You can’t talk about doubt in Jesus’ story without bringing up Thomas. Doubting Thomas, people call him. Jesus recruited Thomas along with the other fishermen three years before.
Thomas never lacked commitment. The first time we hear of him, he’s rallying the other to follow Jesus to Jerusalem, “Let’s go that we may die with Him.” Truth is, Thomas will serve Jesus the rest of his life and years from now he will die for Him.
Thomas never stopped thinking. He had the guts to raise his hand and ask the Teacher, “Wait. Can you explain that?” Jesus didn’t mind. He never had a problem with people with questions—it was people with all the answers who irritated Him.
Thomas didn’t have answers. When he heard rumors Jesus had beat death, Thomas had doubts, honest ones. After all, he had watched Jesus die last Friday (from a distance). The scene was permanently seared in his memory.
Thomas’ signature moment happened a couple days later. He had withdrawn from the others, struggling in isolation—a dangerous decision for anyone. Doubts only get bigger by yourself.
Jesus, back from death, visited His disciples in the upper room. But Thomas isn’t there. So later, all the disciples could do was talk about how Jesus walked through locked doors. But Thomas said, Sorry guys; I’m just not there yet. “Unless I put my finger into the nail marks in His hands, and place my hand into His side, I can’t believe.”
Thomas wanted to believe; but he had to see Jesus for himself. Eight days later, Jesus showed up again in their hangout—and this time Thomas was there. “Look, Thomas, it’s Me. Take your finger and examine My hands. Stick your hand in My side. Don’t overthink this, Thomas. Just believe!”
Thomas didn’t have to touch Jesus’ nail prints or put his hand in Jesus’ side. He gasped, “My Lord and my God!”
“Thomas, because you have seen, you have believed.” Jesus said, then added the part about us . . . “Blessed are you, __________________, (fill in your name) who has not seen and yet believes.”
Blessed are you reading this now, if you believe. Not, blessed are you if you’ve never questioned but blessed are you who find in Jesus Christ proof to overcome your doubts. Blessed are you, Jesus says.