by Dorette Saunders
Have you ever watched a television game show in which a contestant is stumped for the answer (which you know), and you found yourself shouting it at the television screen? You are all worked up because you know for sure you have the correct response.
Using that analogy, Jesus’ disciple Thomas gets a bad rap (Read John 20:24-29). The other disciples who have seen the risen Jesus attempt to engage Thomas in their joy. They know the answer to the crucifixion, and they are shouting, hoping that Thomas will get it. But Thomas is not buying their account because he does not know, he was not present when Jesus appeared to the others. So Thomas balks at being happy. He’s fearful of taking another hit, another disappointment. After all, he thought that Jesus, the Messiah, would free Israel from Roman rule, and now the Jesus he loved and trusted, was dead!
Before we hang the traditional sign, “Doubtful Thomas” around his neck, aren’t we, at times, just like Thomas? Not so much doubtful, but rather lacking courage to believe what we know to be God’s truth? Of course, Thomas heard all of Jesus’ claims of rising from death in three days (Matthew 20:17-19). Of course, Thomas heard Jesus say that he was telling the disciples what would happen so they would not be fearful.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me.” … ” I am telling you this before I leave, so when it does happen, you will have faith in me” (John 14:1;29, CEV).
Thomas faltered, just like Peter faltered after he started to walk on water toward Jesus. Both lacked the courage to believe what Jesus promised or said, would happen.
Thomas’ hesitancy started with, “Unless….” (John 20:25) How does ours start? Thomas needed a physical sign. Jesus, who understands our every weakness, does not condemn his disciple, but rather invites Thomas to overcome his fear, his lack of courage, his doubts, by touching him.
Sometimes, we also need to touch Jesus, again. Our courage will get a re-boot when we have a fresh encounter with the Risen Lord. Such an encounter may manifest through reading the Scriptures, praying, fasting, or by inviting the Holy Spirit to minister to us in his own way.
And while we may experience a momentary lapse of courage to believe, let’s remember Jesus’ words that those who believe without seeing in the natural, are those who are truly blessed (John 20:29).
So then, friends, “let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)” (Hebrews 10:23, KJV).
PRAYER: Our Lord and our God, we thank you for dying for us, and being raised to life so we, too, one day will be raised to life, eternal life. Catch us, Lord, when we fail to have the courage to believe all that you have told us in your Word. Your Word is truth, and we believe! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.