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The In-Between Disciple

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.” John 20:24-31 

We call them deniers.  Some deny the Jewish Holocaust.  Some refuse to believe that man walked on the moon.  Some deny that Islamic terrorists brought down the twin towers on 9/11.  Despite reports, evidence and personal visits, they refuse to believe, and we don’t always know why.  Some are obstinate.  Some are naturally skeptical.  Some think they are being conned.  Others won’t abandon long held political viewpoints.  But, many doubt because they lack personal experience.  They think they are at the mercy of others for history.  History, they say, is someone else’s S-T-O-R-Y. 

Guess what? God has already thought about this human propensity for doubt!  That’s why you don’t have to take someone else’s word about salvation!  You don’t have to be an outsider, an on-looker, a spectator to the greatest story that ever transpired in the annals of history.  God had designed an experience for you.  He has your name on it.  It’s called the baptism of the Holy Ghost!  The Holy Spirit is given to us to complete our new-birth experience.  It lifts us out of our human limitations into the realm of the Spirit.  

Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came, post-resurrection. (When you skip church, you never know what you’re going to miss!)  Maybe he had a good excuse for his absence. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he was confused about when and where the service was going to be held.  Maybe he heard some incredible rumors that Jesus was alive before he encountered the disciples, and he couldn’t process this information. Amazing.  Thomas saw Christ on the mount of transfiguration. He saw Jesus heal and deliver.  Most astounding is that Thomas was present at the raising of Lazarus.  And yet, he had trouble believing that Jesus rose from the dead.

But I do not want to be too hard on Thomas.  I admire his honesty and bluntness.  He simply said, “If you expect me to believe this, I need to put my fingers in His hands and thrust my hand into His side.”  He needed a personal touch from the Master.  So, after eight days, he joined the disciples.  This makes Thomas a sort of mysterious person to me.  He did not fully believe, yet he did not leave.  There was an eight-day period in which he pondered these things in his heart. 

Why did Thomas come back?  He could have gone fishing or joined some other group.  He could have denounced Jesus.  He could have become an enemy of Christ and the disciples. Yet, he stuck around. Evidently, he had enough loyalty and respect that he could not sever his connections with Jesus.  Or, maybe, he hoped something would happen to change his mind. He was just being Thomas, always in between decisions. 

I hold out hope for the Thomases of this world.  Jesus will reward your honesty. After eight days, Jesus showed up.  Thomas was there. Jesus didn’t show up just for the disciple’s sake.  He had already appeared to them.  He came for Thomas. He did not denounce him for his unbelief or scold him for his denial.  He reached out to him with compassion.  Never mark yourself off the list.  Never pass judgment on yourself that you are beyond hope or help.  You do not know the lengths to which God will go to reach you where you are and in whatever condition you may be. 

Jesus challenged Thomas to put his fingers in His hands and side.  There is no record that Thomas did this.  His encounter with Christ was enough to erase all his doubts and fears. Thomas wanted something authentic, not a hand-me-down religion.  He wanted Jesus to be real. Today, you can also say, “My Lord and my God.”  It’s good to call Jesus Lord and God.  It’s far better to know him as your Lord and your God.

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Reader Comments (1)

My FAVORITE part of this blog is - "My Lord and my God". Thomas was a Jew, Jesus was a Jew. Jews called no MAN 'God' - unless He was. To trinitarians those words say it all. I dearly love Thomas.

March 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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