Thomas said to [Jesus], “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 NIV)
What do you think of Jesus’ disciple Thomas?
It’s unfortunate that some 2,000 years after he lived we still refer to him as, ‘Doubting Thomas’; not a very flattering epitaph to be saddled with is it?
But I rather like him.
He wasn’t afraid to ask the ‘really stupid question’:
‘Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”’ (John 14:5)
Nor was he reticent to express his doubts:
“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.” (John 20:25)
I’m rather glad that he asked the question that was probably on everybody’s mind and yet they were reluctant to ask, because it elicited from Jesus one of the most profound statements in all of the gospels:
‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6).
I’m also rather pleased that Thomas expressed his doubt because his encounter with Jesus led to the most explicit statement on the divinity of Jesus in the gospels:
“My Lord and my God!”
What are we to make of Thomas’ example?
Two things come to my mind:
First, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Let’s face it we all have questions, and quite likely others have similar questions.
When we have a question, take it to the Lord in prayer. We might be surprised at the profound answer we receive from Jesus.
Second, take your doubts to Jesus as well. Again, we all have doubts so take them to him in prayer, because he is more than able to strengthen us as we look to him.
Cultivate a relationship with Jesus where you are able to ask him questions, share your doubts with him and allow him to transform your life.
Tradition tells us that Thomas carried through his profession of faith covering more distance with the gospel message than any other Apostle as he went beyond the bounds of the Roman Empire and ministered in India.
This ‘doubting Thomas’ not only spread the gospel of which he was a devoted follower but was martyred for his faith being speared to death at a place called Calamine.
That’s why I prefer to remember him as ‘Believing Thomas’.
Father, thank you that in Jesus you answer our questions and remove our doubts.