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I Am a Doubting Thomas To

By Rev. Rebekah Lawson

In Eastern Orthodoxy it is Thomas Sunday. I always wondered why he doubted so much and then I grew up. So many people are more like Thomas than like me. I have had so much faith and just believed even though. It was a definite gift. Then I met so many people in my life who have had such a hard time with believing in anything. Life hits me hard I held onto the understanding of who my God is. They get hit hard and they fall apart, asking why, and wondering if anything is real. I never hit that bottom until the end of 2019/2020. It seamed I lost so many people that were my support system to death, disillusionment and it almost broke me. No it broke me. I had to stand up and be someone I never wanted to be, to do things I never wanted to do and it broke me. I found myself doubting God for the first time in my life. I found myself angry at the world and ready to just not be here. I found myself deep in fear and not knowing how to help myself out without help. And my attitude toward Thomas changed. Others had to be show who he was but Jesus came to him because he needed it. Because he was in such a place that he could not get out of without help. Can you imagine the fear they must have had? The man they believed to be the savior was dead killed by the government and they were followers of this man. Would they be next?

Every gospel tells a little about after the resurrection. Matthew 28:16-20 covers the Great Commission.

The Great Commission

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [1]

Whereas Mark, Who most scholars agree was the first of the Gospels to be written, speaks of Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ appearance to the 2 disciples, and the Great Commission. The 2 gospels that speak of doubting are Luke and John.

Luke 24:36-52: says

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.

So not only do they fear for their lives but they now think Jesus’ ghost has come to haunt them.

38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate before them.

So he is doing for them what they needed. He is proving to their minds what their hears already knew. He was alive again.

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

The Ascension

50And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53and were continually in the temple blessing God. [2]

What is going to be more powerful in the world that needs to know a living God, people who have been told he is alive or those who have been shown and have experienced it for themselves. The only Gospel who names Thomas in this account is John.

John 20:19-21:25

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Jesus and Thomas

24Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So 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.”

26Eight 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.” 27Then 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.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We always see that as Jesus correcting Thomas, but after these past 2 years I see that now as Jesus building a man up that had hit bottom and was ready to give up. Thomas went on to be a foundation in the church and without him and his strength after this moment we may not be the church we are today. How many people are run away from the church because they have so many questions and we look at them and tell them just to believe when what they really need is to be show and touched so that God can create in them the strength they need to be who they are created to be? People are saved by the Word of God and the word of our testimony. I know my God heals not just because I am told, but because I have been healed time and again. I know my God loves because time and again I have been loved even when I did not deserve it. I know my God saves because when I had no faith my God reached down, held me tight, and never let me go.

John goes on to say

The Purpose of This Book

30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. [3]

My God gave me strength when I thought I could not anymore and helped me find help. My God helped me live through my depression and helps me every day fight off the doubt that I am not good enough. My God does this because my God loves me, but also so that I can then know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is God and I am God’s. That is the power of my testimony and no one can take that from me. Think back, remember what God has done for you, and stand on that. Then go and show the world what God has done for you, living every day in God’s love and assurance.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 28:16–20). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. [2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 24:36–53). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. [3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 20:19–21:25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.


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