Have We Become A Doubting Thomas Generation?
At some time or another, many of us have been told “don’t be a Doubting-Thomas.” But what does this common phrase really mean?
Let’s reflect a bit on John 20:24-29 and our disciple by the name of Thomas.
“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So 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.’” (John 20:24-25)
“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!’ 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.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”” (John 20:26-29)
The resurrection is the key!
There are so many people in this world, including many historians and great scholars, that openly accept that Jesus Christ was a man. A man who walked the earth, ministering to people, and then was crucified by the Roman Empire, a little more than 2000 years ago.
The resurrection is always downplayed. And yet, the resurrection is the key to true belief and faith in Jesus Christ.
Thomas was the first person to struggle with this fact.
Even though he had lived and served with these fellow-disciples, which must offer some element of trust. Even though he was taught by Jesus himself and had already saw many miraculous things, he still did not believe that Christ had returned from the dead.
Now, I speak for myself as much as the next person, when I ask, “what is it with us, that we always have to ‘see it for ourselves?’” “How come it’s never enough?” We’re always striving to see more or experience more! We’re never satisfied with plain old belief or ordinary faith.
We get frustrated if God’s movement through the Holy Spirit in our lives isn’t felt with enough intensity. We hunger and thirst for emotional highs and charismatic escapades, which (don’t get me wrong) can take place. But what’s wrong with simple committed belief?
How often do we try to make simple works of God seem more elaborate?
Perhaps using Christian-rhetoric to explain a situation? For example, how many times have we said to each other “God spoke to me” when in fact, that never happened at all! Sure, the Holy Spirit may have impressed something on our mind or perhaps, we read a piece of Scripture that was directly applicable to a current struggle. But God didn’t actually speak to us!
Doesn’t it seem more believable that way? It’s more exciting to say that God audibly (in that recognizable James Earl Jones voice) specifically told us something. Yet, it’s a small, insignificant (yet widely accepted) white lie to legitimize or prove our belief.
Today, how about we just choose to believe?
Let’s believe not based on super-natural displays or even logical debate. Let’s just believe based on our faith that Jesus said it. Let’s believe that someone close to Him wrote it down for us to read.
Today, let’s tell ourselves, “don’t be a Doubting-Thomas.”