Friday, March 18, 2011

Are You a Doubting Thomas?


Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John20: 24-25)

We often remember Thomas as “the doubter,” because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection. Shortly after Jesus' resurrection He appeared before His disciples in a closed room, however, Thomas was not present (John 20:19–23). When Jesus appeared to the other disciples, He showed them His hands and His side (John 20:20). No doubt they told Thomas about seeing the Lord's pierced hands and side because Thomas said that he would not "believe" unless he could touch Jesus' wounds (John 20:25).


Have you ever wished you could actually see Jesus, touch Him, and hear His words? Are there times you want to sit down with Him and get His advice? Thomas wanted Jesus’ physical presence. But God’s plan is wiser, He has not limited Himself to one physical body; He wants to be present with you at all times. Even now He is with you in the form of the Holy Spirit. You can talk to Him, and you can find His words to you in the pages of the Bible. He can be as real to you as He was to Thomas.

And after eight days His disciples were again inside and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.(John 20:26-29)

Jesus’ resurrected body was unique. It was not the same kind of flesh and blood Lazarus had when he came back to life. Jesus’ body was no longer subjected to the same laws of nature as before His death. He could appear in a locked room; yet He was not a ghost or apparition because He could be touched and could eat. Jesus’ resurrection was literal and physical—He was not a disembodied spirit.

Jesus wasn’t hard on Thomas for his doubts. Despite his skepticism, Thomas was still loyal to the believers and to Jesus Himself. Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a life-style that doubt harms faith. When you doubt, don’t stop there. Let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answers.

In awestruck wonder, Thomas not only believed that Christ was risen from the dead, but he also saw that the Resurrection proved His deity (John 20:28). Some people think they would believe in Jesus if they could see a definite sign or miracle. But Jesus says we are blessed if we can believe without seeing (John 20:29). We have all the proof we need in the words of the Bible and the testimony of believers. A physical appearance would not make Jesus any more real to us than He is now. Those who have not seen our risen Lord Jesus includes all who have believed in Christ since His ascension to the Father (1 Pet. 1:8, 9).

So my question to you this morning is this. Are you a Doubting Thomas? Or, have you accepted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by faith alone, that He is the Son of the Living God?

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.

23 comments:

Shay said...

I particularly liked it when you said:

"Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a life-style that doubt harms faith".

Good point...really glad you brought that out. It's easy to automatically assume that absolutely anyone who is "doubting" is on a negative road to nowhere.

That can be the case - but not necessarily. It could be that the person is finally "waking up".

You know how sometimes when we "sleep" on something wrong, our hand or arms, etc. can go numb?

Reminds me of that.

Anyway...thank you for your insight.

God Bless You,
Shay

Clint said...

Great post, Lloyd.

Of course, I do think most of us go thru a time in our lives when we doubt. I think that is human nature. After some life experience, it begins to come together for many of us. Believing is truly seeing.

Check out my blog post of 2-11-11 for a real life experience I had with an unbeliever who was struggling with this very issue.

Phil Brown said...

I liked this post. It is so true that it is tough to believe from time to time. I was reading the Scripture recently where Jesus Called Matthew to come and follow Him. The text says that when Jesus called Matthew, he just got up and followed him. I don't know about you, but if some dude walked up and asked me to follow him while I was working, I would call him crazy and continue my business. I truly believe that the only reason Matthew followed Christ is because God put a new heart in him so that he would have eyes to see, and ears to hear. The good thing is that the true believers may stumble from time to time, but will endure to the end. Jesus is good. Thanks for the post.

Faithful Mama said...

You know, there is another kind of doubting Thomas, in my opinion too. I know many people who honestly just haven't heard the true gospel, and have doubt in another way. They may have prayed for salvation, but they continue to do so over and over...*just in case* I think that there are a lot of people who do this b/c they aren't TRULY saved, and I think that this is due to a lack of teaching on the modern church's part. When people don't understand the gospel, they doubt. I also think a lot of people who are newly saved think that everyone has that same experience of immediate miracles....and each person's way is different. There is truly a lack of teaching in this area today.....
Great, great post. You are very elegant, and I'm enjoying your blog a lot! :)--S

dfish said...

Real questions are always good. They indicate a sincere desire to know the truth. They become a problem when we refuse to accept the truth. Many, like Thomas, find it hard to take people's testimony blindly.

It would seem that Thomas didn't have to touch, to believe, despite his statement, Just seeing was enough. Great post.

FreeOne said...

i have loved the verse "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." That is faith lived out...believing in our Lord Jesus, sight unseen. But there is evidence of God all around us!

Thanks for stopping by..

Gerry said...

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes when things are not going well it is easy to forget that.

Ryan said...

thank you Lloyd for leaving a comment on my blog last year in May. I am back i changed it to Fomo Go Corner.


God Bless,

Have a great day

GOD thinker said...

I never really doubted the validity of Jesus' claims even when I was an unbeliever. Sometimes I do fall into doubt on other things. Like when prayers are a long time in being answered, I sometimes doubt they will be. The I have to battle those thoughts with the Word and the doubt leaves.

At Home! said...

I believe that our Father in Heaven is pleased when we ask our sincere questions...and seek with real intent to find His answers. There is a different feel to asking a heartfelt question and demanding an answer that matches our agenda. I think Thomas, much like Peter on the water, or the father in Mark 23-24, wanted to believe, but had doubts in his own ability. When we realize that we are literally children of God, then it becomes easier to put all of our Trust in Him as our Loving Father.

The Unknowngnome said...

I agree with you Lloyd, "Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work."

I love the Doubt that leads one deeper.

bibelaventyr said...

sometimes it's easy to doubt. Think what good that Jesus is good to those who doubt. :)
I think it was a super good post you wrote. :)

and swedish ;)
: ibland är det lätt att tvivla. tänk vad bra att Jesus är god mot dem som tvivlar. :)
jag tycker att det var en super bra inlägg du skrev.!

Teresa said...

"Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers, and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a life-style that doubt harms faith"."

This is so true.

Excellent post!

Ian Curtis said...

People wanting proof of God's presence is what spawned movements such as the Charismatics: speaking in tongues and laying on hands; they want visible proof that God is with them.

There seems to be a certain disquiet when mere faith is supposed to be the bridge that spans from the believer to God.
Sometimes I wondered if I would be more convinced about my prayers being answered if a voice thundered from Heaven and said "I hear you! I am God!"

But then I realized that an experience, no matter how profound, is not necessarily genuine. Faith that rests in experience has no ground for finding rest because a cessation of experiences would badly shake one's "faith."

God's word and promise are sufficient for me; and if my experiences compliment and strengthen my faith, I am glad. But all such experiences will be tested by God's word because Christ is the rock of my faith, nothing else.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have accepted, although there's moments of doubt in every believer's life.

Pastor Bob said...

And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

This is the highest note of Praise in all of the Holy Scripture

SRMyers said...

There are times I have doubts. I think that happens to most Christians from time to time. Even when that happens, I don't let it get to the point where I just give up. As you said, doubts should send us on a search for the truth. My doubts are relieved when I go back to the basics and read the Bible.

Mike said...

Lloyd, somethimes it is like I'm on a rollercoaster, sometimes I believe other times I fall into doubt. Great post.

rcubes said...

It is hard to believe when we don't see any proof or see things. But God is Spirit. "Open the eyes of my heart Lord..." God bless you bro. Lloyd.

Ann Nichols said...

Thank God a doubting Thomas is one thing I'm not!
Blessings!
Ann

Sheila Deeth said...

I love Thomas--not afraid to say he doubted, not rejected for his doubts, and a wonderful disciple.

One Heart (Marcia) said...

"When you doubt, don’t stop there. Let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for the answers." Love what you wrote here.

Mark 9:23-24

Have a blessed day.

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