Scripture Reading: John 20:24-29:
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So 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.”
26 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!” 27 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.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I remember growing up and being told by my Sunday school teacher, “Don’t be a doubting Thomas.” There were several men named Thomas in our church and community and I could never figure out which one she was talking about and how they got mentioned in the Bible. It was not until I heard our pastor preach on this text from John, that I finally realized that it was Thomas the Disciple that my teacher was talking about.
I can relate to the disciple Thomas and his moment of doubt. We all have moments of doubt throughout our lives and sometimes we need a reminder from someone to stop doubting. Most of the time, my doubts have to do with myself. Like Thomas, I want to have a sign, something that gives me a clear answer. Often I find myself praying for a “sign” from God so that I can put an end to my doubts. Jesus tells us however, “Stop doubting and believe.”
Doubt is exactly what the evil one wants us to have plenty of. He wants us to second guess ourselves and replay our failures in our minds so that we become weak and ineffective followers of Christ. We come up with excuses or reasons not to try; I’m not smart enough, I can’t talk to or pray with that particular person, I can’t teach that Sunday school class, I can’t visit someone who is hurting or sick because I don’t know what to say….and the list goes on and on.
Like us, the disciples also had doubts and I’m sure they had their moments when they also felt weak and ineffective. It is in those moments that we forget whom we serve as our Lord and Savior. As believers, we serve God, whose power helps us to overcome our own human weaknesses. The Apostle Paul reminds us that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. As believers, we are not alone; we have the name of Christ to call upon to help us overcome our doubt.
Do you believe in the power of Jesus? Do you have enough faith to overcome doubt and live out a life that frees you from your doubting ways? Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Jesus tells us to have faith and to “stop doubting and believe.”
Jesus told Thomas that “because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” And that is the Good News for us as believers. We have not personally seen Jesus, but because we believe in Him, we are saved for all eternity. And we are also saved from living a life filled with doubt.