18th January, 2007
No doubt, you have heard of the Apostle Thomas, often referred to as “Doubting Thomas”. Thomas has earned this name from the time when he would not believe that Jesus had appeared to the other Apostles (see John 20:19-28). He said, “Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” He had seen Jesus die. He saw Jesus buried. Thomas was a man who knew what he believed and he believed Jesus was dead. At first sight of the risen Jesus, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 NASB)
What would you think if I said I wish my faith was as strong as Thomas’? Well, I do. Furthermore, I think that the title of “Doubting Thomas” is not deserved. Let’s take a quick look at what the Bible says about Thomas…
Apart from him being simply named as one of the twelve Apostles, we first read of Thomas in John’s Gospel, Chapter 11. Jesus was with His Apostles and had just heard that Lazarus was dead and said He must go to wake him up. They all said to Jesus that the Jews would stone Him. It was Thomas who said, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” (John 11:16 NASB)
In John Chapter 14, Jesus spoke of going away to prepare a place for the Apostles. Although Jesus expected them to understand, they did not. Thomas, not having a clue where Jesus was off to, said, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” (John 14:5 NASB) What he was really saying was that he wanted to follow. He did not care where Jesus went, he just wanted to go, but was concerned that he might not know how to follow.
Next, we find Thomas in the upper room where the twelve had been staying after Jesus returned to heaven. Thomas, along with the others was described as, “continually devoting themselves to prayer.” (Acts 1:14 NASB)
If having the faith of Thomas means:
- Knowing exactly what one believes
- Being prepared to follow Jesus to death
- Wanting to follow Jesus anywhere, even if you don’t know where
- Being continually devoted to prayer
then give me the faith of “Doubting” Thomas any day! If more Christians had this type of faith, the world would be a very different place today.