After the resurrection Jesus appears to his disciples, but Thomas was not there. When he does join his fellow disciples, they tell him that they have seen Jesus, yet Thomas has reservations about what they have told him. “Unless I see the nail holes and put my hands into his wounds I will not believe.” Jesus did not reappear to the disciples for another week; this time Thomas is with them. The week between Jesus’ appearances brands Thomas as a doubter and a skeptic. This wasn’t altogether fair to Thomas since Peter and John did not believe Jesus had been resurrected, and had to see the empty tomb for themselves. Perhaps Thomas just wanted to see if Jesus was true to his word, or maybe he wanted to prove his friends wrong. So he waited in the darkness of his own disbelief.
Maybe we have Thomas all wrong, maybe we should label him as Thomas the Bold, or Thomas the Brave, because earlier in John’s gospel Thomas is the only one to speak up and agree that Jesus should return to Bethany to mourn the death of his friend Lazarus. The other disciples were afraid that doing so would result in the death of them all. Thomas stands with Jesus and says: “Let us go with him so that we may die with him.” Are these the words of a doubter? These are the words of a believer and follower of Christ. Whenever Jesus speaks of his coming death, his disciples try to talk him out of it, and one time Jesus rebukes Peter and calls him “not the rock upon whom the church was built, but his adversary. “Get behind me Satan” Jesus says to Peter. In any event. Thomas’ willingness to die for Jesus casts his doubts in a different light.
So Thomas chose to sit in a room full of believers with a head full of doubt. Maybe we should be just a little bit more like Thomas from time to time. Perhaps if we just believed in what the Lord wants us to believe, teach what the Lord wants us to teach, and go where the Lord wants us to go as Thomas did, our faith would grow stronger. Jesus was not upset that Thomas had doubts about the resurrection, Jesus simply allowed Thomas to do what was necessary to prove to Thomas that he was the Christ and that he had come back from the dead. Jesus did not love Thomas less because he had doubts, Jesus simply took away those doubts that were filling Thomas’ head. Jesus will not condemn you for having doubts either. Just open your hearts and allow Jesus to take away those doubts and fears, He will if you just give him the chance to just like Thomas did.
Most merciful Lord, take away our doubts as you did Thomas’ doubts, guide us and lead us with our sins forgiven so that we may stand with you as Thomas did. Keep us under your loving grace, and show us the path you want us to follow. We believe in you, we love you, and we praise you for your mercy and patience with us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.