Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stop Doubting and Believe

I hope you are having a good week, and that you are drawing near to Jesus - preparing to celebrate His resurrection this weekend. Yesterday we looked at Jesus' encounter with Mary, and I hope you were encouraged as you considered the fact that He knows your name. He knows YOU.
Today I want to look at Jesus' encounter with another of His followers. As you read, pay careful attention to Thomas' "objections" and how Jesus answers them a week later.

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 20:24-31

Did you see it???

Thomas said, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands..."
Jesus said, "See my hands."

Thomas said, "...and put my finger where the nails were..."
Jesus said, "Put your finger here."

Thomas said, "...and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
Jesus said, "Reach out your hand and put in into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

When I read this passage I was stunned and delighted at Jesus' perfect knowledge of Thomas' need to see and believe. He didn't condemn Thomas for doubting. Jesus didn't belittle him because he didn't believe the other disciples had truly seen Him. Rather, Jesus directly answered each one of Thomas' objections and He called Thomas to believe.

Jesus had just suffered and died for this man who stood before Him doubting. Surely, He could have been angry or upset with Thomas. After Jesus had endured so much, who was Thomas to doubt His power? Everyone else believed. What was Thomas' problem?
But that isn't Jesus' way. Instead of being angry that Thomas was doubting, Jesus lovingly met his need to see - in order to believe.

Have you ever doubted Jesus?

I have.

But now I have seen Him with my heart, and I believe!

And John has given us something to see, too: But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31

Jesus came that we may have life. Eternal life. If today you still find yourself doubting, ask Jesus to show Himself to you. And be watchful. He loves you so much, and I know He will let you see if you want to believe.
If today you are sure about Jesus, thank Him for revealing Himself to you and pray for those who do not yet know Him. Ask Jesus to open the eyes of their hearts.

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luvmy4sons said...

His unconditional love so astounds me...Sometimes I have this wellspring that surges up in me and for a brief moment, because of His love, I feel as if I CAN love everyone in my life with that kind of love too...alas, I do not. Still He is my shining example. It is so comforting to know that in those moments when I fail to love as He loves that He is not in the wings condemning me for THAT failure but smiling and urging me on to try again. Loved this post sweet sister.

My ADHD Me said...

"And be watchful."

I wonder how often Jesus is right there in front of me and I'm looking right past him.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Karen. I am enjoying these post this week.

Jessica said...

And Thomas must have seen him walk through that locked door too. God is so understanding, but I still hope to be someone who doesn't see and yet believes.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Hi Karen, I sooooooo wish I had more time this week so that I could sit and meditate more on these incredible posts of yours. This one was RICH.

anyway, I came over to ask if you would email me a 3rd person bio and a pic that you would like me to use when I share your story on Monday. My email is

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

LOVE your posts this week! They have truly blessed me! THANK YOU!!!

Patricia in nyc