John 20: 24-29
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.25 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.”
26 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.”27 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.”28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (English Standard Version)
Many of us who are strong believers know this part of the resurrection story with great clarity. We can almost recite the words Jesus uses with Thomas. He gets his nick name from this passage. We call him doubting Thomas. Perhaps when you’ve doubted something someone has used that nick name with you. You’ve been called a doubting Thomas. Surprisingly we forget the entire life of Thomas. To take liberty here I want to share a verse about Thomas from another passage of Scripture. Elsewhere he was ready to die with Jesus. When Jesus told the disciples they were going to go to Lazurus’ home Thomas stated, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16). What a courageous statement! Willing to go to Jerusalem and die with Jesus. Yet we remember him for his doubting.
What am I known for in my relationships and conversations with people. Am I known as a person of great faith and courage or someone who doubts. Now in this passage all ends well. Thomas believes and renews his allegiance to Jesus and the Kingdom, but he is never-the-less known as the doubter. What will people remember about you? Me? Will it be those times we slipped in our Christian walk or those times we expressed great courage and influence? When we witness someone slipping will we remember those times or give them the benefit of the doubt and strengthen them along the way with our friendship and support? Lots of questions this morning that only you can answer. The way I choose to remember Thomas is in his moment of great courage! Hopefully I will do the same with those I know in the Christian faith that I serve with and grow with in the Kingdom. It is a choice. What will yours be?
Father God thank you for including Thomas in the biblical narrative. When I am given a choice as to how to think and respond to a Christian brother who has slipped or doubted help me remember his times of courage and strength. I pray my Christian friends will do the same with me. I do pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen.