“The world is not flat, it is round.” I doubt it!
“People will fly one day.” I doubt it!
“We can put a man on the moon.” I doubt it!
Doubt is a universal disease. If some scientist proclaims that there are 300 sextillion stars in the universe, we will believe her. But if a sign says, "Fresh Paint" our doubt kicks in and we've just got to touch it.
Thomas was a doubter. The disciples came to him after the resurrection with the fantastic news, "We have seen the Lord!" Thomas wasn't buying it.
Careful, calculating, analytical Thomas -- you gotta love him! The guy spends three and half years with Jesus, walks by his side, witnesses miracle after miracle, hears the promises of his return and still doubts.
I’m glad Thomas was among the twelve because some days I am just like him. Despite walking with Jesus for years, doubt still sneaks in the back door of my soul. I've doubted God's love. I've doubted his provision . . . on bad days I've even doubted his existence. At those times when the dark clouds of doubt obscure my vision of the Son, I need to remember Jesus’ words:
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 NIV
Jesus’ remark is sandwich statement. There is a little piece of chastening between two slices of comfort. It is comforting to know that Jesus met Thomas in the land of doubt. Thomas didn’t fail discipleship 101 because he questioned the resurrection. That's because Jesus loves doubters. Remember that! Clearly, however, Jesus’ mild chastening is calling Thomas -- and all doubters -- to a deeper faith.
Faith is not believing in someone who is not there. Faith is believing in someone we cannot see. Jesus knew that generations of disciples would not be able to press their fingers into his scarred hands or with their hands touch his wounded side, but that did not bother him. Jesus' disciples walk by faith and not by sight!
There is good news for doubters in this passage. Our doubts do not nullify God's love. At the same time we do well to remember that the blessing of God is reserved for those who do not see and still believe. The implications are clear:
- Stop doubting his existence -- he is real.
- Stop doubting his love – he loves you.
- Stop doubting his care – he cares for you.
- Stop doubting his deity – he is God in the flesh.
Stop doubting and believe! Therein lies the blessing of God.
Help for doubters: If you are looking for help working through some of your doubts, try the post Put Your Doubts To The Test.