Doubting Thomas

DOUBTING THOMAS

Thomas the Twin has been unfairly treated as a doubter. Everyone could and can doubt except Thomas. Yet, he was the bravest and most courageous of the disciples. It was he who was willing to die with Jesus and speak up when in doubt (Jn.11: 16). Thomas was not the only one that doubted (Mt.28: 17). But he was the only one that demanded evidence that would end his doubts (Jn.20: 25). Doubting is part of our human nature. Some are easily convinced and others require extra help. Thomas was such a person. Jesus had to do a little extra (Jn.20: 24-29). And I am one who is thankful that Jesus came back to deal with Thomas. Doubt twists our mind and renders us incapable of walking on water or moving mountains (Ja.1: 6; Mt.14: 31; 21: 21). Jesus used these examples to show how dangerous doubt is. It robs us of what we could be and of what we could have. It puts a break on our ability and on our faith.

It was not natural to simply accept that their Master and Teacher had returned from the dead (Lk.24: 16). That is why Thomas’s role is so vital for all of us doubters. Because of him, we have more than just words to back our faith. We have a being that had flesh and bones (Lk.24: 39). For Thomas, it was not enough to see Jesus alive again but also touch His wounds and hear His voice. Thomas wanted to be absolutely certain that the Jesus that had called him to be an apostle and disciple, and the Jesus that had risen from the dead were one and the same. It was not an unreasonable request because Jesus had warned that imposters or false Messiahs would deceive his followers (Mt.24: 23-25). And that is why Jesus complied with Thomas’s request and offered to be touched when he refused to be touched by Mary (Jn.20: 17, 27).

We take comfort in the words, “blessed are those that have not seen but believed” (Jn.20: 29). Only, if it had not been for Thomas, we may not have those words. Also, we may not have the certainty that the Risen Jesus was the one that was crucified. Because of Thomas, Jesus gave us the only visible evidence that He was the One. All the others were expressions of faith. Thus, Jesus did not just deal with a doubter, but also with the evidence that dispensed with doubt. There was no longer any doubt that Thomas was in the presence of God Incarnate (Jn.20: 28). For Thomas, Jesus had eliminated the physical limitation to faith. And for us, he became the evidence that faith defeats doubt (Ro.14: 23).