I feel sorry for Thomas, the disciple of Jesus, who is labeled “doubting Thomas.” He is known—all this years later—for his disbelief that Jesus had risen from the dead, instead of being recognized for his faith and the declaration he made about Jesus:

“My lord and my God” (John 20:28)

“My” announces a personal acceptance of Jesus as Lord of his life, that Jesus was not only a human being but God in the flesh. 

Thomas had been a follower of Jesus for the three years of Jesus’ ministry. Listening to Jesus, learning from him, watching him at work. Maybe, going along with Jesus’ teaching was easy for Thomas. Not much of a stretch.

But, the fact that Jesus was alive after being killed, dead and buried, took some believing! And rightly so. Resurrection is supernatural. This unexpected and incredulous turn of events, a badly beaten, bruised, maimed man rising from the dead, was barely believable.

Thomas struggled to take in, to believe, unless he experienced it personally.

Isn’t that the same for us? And for other people too? We all need to experience Jesus for ourselves. Thankfully, we can still do that and it, too, is supernatural.

We can know Jesus personally because, just as Jesus wanted Thomas to believe, Jesus wants us, our friends, family, acquaintances, and everyone to know him for real too. 

The story in the gospel of John about Thomas, implies that Jesus knew about Thomas’ doubts, even though Thomas had not expressed them to Jesus. 

The other disciples had already seen Jesus, but Thomas had missed out. He couldn’t join in their excited exchanges of what that moment meant to each of them.

Did Thomas feel disappointed? Did he feel it was unfair that he hadn’t been there? Did he want to believe but couldn’t based on his friends’ experience? He just didn’t feel it.

So, Jesus came and met Thomas’ needs.

Jesus, it seems, knew Thomas’ thoughts exactly. Jesus, even though Thomas had expressed them to his friends and not to Jesus, knew the inner turmoil of his disciple. 

We can take great comfort in the experience of Thomas. 

When we have followed Jesus and yet we have doubts. When we find aspects of God’s words too incredulous to believe. We can be comforted knowing that it’s not too much of a shock to God, but that he is working in us, giving us the desire and power to believe.

When we express our doubts to other people, maybe they don’t know how to respond. Or their response is inadequate to dispel our doubts.

Maybe we’ve had other people express their doubts to us and we don’t know what to say back.

The story of Thomas implies that what is said between ourselves does not escape God’s hearing. Let’s not underestimate what God can do to show up and turn us and others from disbelief to making the same personal exclamation as Thomas:

“My lord and my God.”

Use the prayer below for yourself and for those you know.


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