By Chris Orme
Good Word Contributor
Many of us have heard the phrase “doubting Thomas”. It refers to that time in the Gospel of John, when one of Jesus disciples, a guy named Thomas, was listening to his friends talking about seeing Jesus after the resurrection. They had seen Jesus, encountered the risen Christ… but Thomas wasn’t with them. He hadn’t seen what they had seen.
Now, the other disciples in their fervor and excitement from seeing Jesus, shared the news, “We’ve seen the Lord!!!” And Thomas responded the way, I think, most of us would. “Until I see his hands, feel the wounds of the nails, and put my hand to his side, I won’t believe what you’re saying.”
Later that week, they gathered again, and this time Thomas was with them. And the Lord appeared, walked right up to Thomas and said “Reach out and touch me. See the punctures in my hand; reach out your hand and put it to my side; leave behind your doubt and believe!”
What strikes me here is that Thomas, full of questions, full of doubt, is pursued by Jesus. Jesus approaches him. Jesus pursues him, and invites him closer. It’s almost as if Jesus is saying, “Ok, Thomas, I hear you, I get that your doubting, but here I am, here are the wounds.. come closer.
In the Church we talk a lot about the amazing exploits of the disciples and the early Christians, Peter’s sermons, Paul’s missionary journey’s, miraculous acts of healing, entire cities turning to faith in Jesus.
But, there are some church traditions, particularly in the eastern traditions, that tell amazing stories of the Apostle Thomas, travelling as far as India with the good news of Jesus.
Thomas, the doubter, went further than any early disciple, in sharing the gospel with people.
Doubt is not a disqualifier.
Having questions is not enough to Change Jesus’ mind about you.