I'm sure you would say yes if I asked it this way, do you know Doubting Thomas?
I feel a little sorry for him. I mean, nobody really knows you are talking about one of the twelve unless you preface his name with doubting. What a way to be remembered.
He wasn't with the gang when Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection, so in his defense, he actually didn't see, he just heard.
And we all know how word can spread, picking up little pieces of untruth as it journeys onward.
I can just imagine the others running to him and telling him with excited emotion, how they saw Jesus. Maybe he thought they were playing a joke on him. Maybe he was just grieving too much to be able to put much weight in their words.
He responds to them (and I could see him doing it with a roll of the eyes and a yawn, you know, to let them know that he's not buying their cruelity), "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 it." (John 20:24)
And then he walks away, leaving them behind, to further prove his point. Well, that's how I see it anyway.
A week later Jesus stands before Thomas and tells him to go ahead and touch the holes in his hands, where the sins of many pierced skin sharp. To open eyes and see . . . witness . . . the wounds that bled for love. Thomas obeyed. Then Jesus told him to stop with the doubting (John 20:27).
"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)
That one stung a little bit, I'm sure. He called him out on his disbelief, thus renaming him, Doubting Thomas.
I still feel bad for the guy. That name has stuck for centuries!
He just wanted to see.
Don't we all?
I'm a visual person. I learn by seeing and doing. John 20 verse 29 is easy to say . . . but to actually put it into practice? I think that is hard.
I would have been one of those that said, "Nope. I'm not going to believe it unless I can see it with my own two eyes, thank you very much."
I want to see! I want to see how things work, what the sky looks like when someone else declares that a storm is on its way. It's not that I don't believe a storm isn't coming, I just want to see the sky for myself.
My child is the same way. She wants to see everything. She wants to see the egg before I crack it, once it is cracked, and then once again as the yolk is scrambled. She wants to see every page in the book and every picture on every page, sometimes two, three . . . five times.
She just wants to see. She wants to make sure that what I am telling her is lining up with what she sees. She wants to make sure that her brain is making the correct connections.
Thomas just wanted to see.
I love Thomas. I absolutely love him! His devotion makes me cry. Because of his love for the Lord, I have a hard time referring to him as Doubting Thomas.
In John chapter 11 Jesus decides to return to the place where He will be falsely accused, prosecuted and hung on the cross. Jesus returns to raise Lazarus from the dead.
His disciples know to return, may mean death. Jesus definitely knows what is in store for him and yet He returns for the sake of a friend. And, I think, to let His loved ones know that the tomb is not the end.
He tells His friends that they will travel back to Judea and they try to persuade Him otherwise. They remind Him that if He returns, He will probably be stoned. And since Lazarus is sick and sleeping, they should just let him rest so he will get better.
Jesus has to spell it out to them that Lazarus, is in fact, dead.
After His other disciples have just got done trying to talk Him out of leaving, I'm sure out of fear (because really, if Jesus is stoned, what will happen to them?) Thomas speaks up.
Now this is when my eyes well up with tears, "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John 11:16).
You can say all you want about how he questioned and doubted but I didn't see any of the others wanting to die with Him.
One betrayed Him with a kiss and one denied Him, not once, not twice but three times! But no one else offered to die with Him. No one else offered to take His hand and walk that road with Him.
Thomas doubted. Haven't we all?
Thomas was a passionate person. I can relate to that. He was intense in his belief of who Christ was, so much so, that he was willing to die with Him. And in so doing declared his loyalty to Jesus with his actions.
Thomas was also intense in his doubting. He not only needed to see Christ with his own two eyes but he also needed to touch the wounds.
After the touching of the wounds had left their mark on Thomas, he declared (probably rather intensly), "My Lord and My God!" (John 20:28)
The doubting led to an intense declaration of love and belief.
How beautiful for doubting to end with the same loyalty and love as to declare, my Lord and my God!
Doubting to Declaration . . . "My Lord and my God!"