Go back with me to sunday school, when we heard the stories of Jesus and his twelve apostles. You know, that really great guy and his twelve compadres, friends, and buddies?
One of them stuck out to me this week: Thomas. He was also known as “Doubting” Thomas, and for good reason. It seemed as though when everyone around him believed in something, he refused to believe until he saw it for himself.
That’s some good advice if you ask me. It’s not applicable to every situation, but it adds a nice balance to life.
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” John 20:24-25
Thomas had no reason to doubt the other disciples, after all, they had nothing to gain by convincing Thomas that Jesus was alive. But he insisted that he see with his own eyes and even went to the extent to say that he wanted to feel with his hands.
But maybe it wasn’t that he doubted, maybe it was because he remembered some words that Jesus had said before he died. “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. But be on your guard.” Mark 13:5-6, 9
So maybe Thomas wasn’t doubting that Jesus was alive but rather that the person they had seen was really Him. After all, how can you be sure of something unless you know about it from first hand experience.
How Do You Know That God Is Real
So we find Thomas a week after hearing that Jesus is alive and here’s what happened, “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26-28)
Thomas had his proof. As soon as he experienced it for himself he believed. Notice he doesn’t ask for more proof, or confer with the others, he got his proof and immediately believed.
It is ok to have doubts.
Disclaimer: When it comes to spiritual things, we need to exercise faith. Jesus warned them that there would be false teachers and people that claimed to be Him. But Jesus also told them all that He would raise from the dead in three days. Because of this Jesus tells Thomas these words, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) Faith is believing without seeing.