Doubting Thomas? Nay-Nay!
Okay, I’m going to keep this short (lack of time), but I was reading in John and got really ticked when I got Thomas seeing Jesus after the ressurection. I think we need a bit of adjustment on how we think of Thomas…
Commonly we hear Thomas referred to as “Doubting Thomas” keying off on Jesus telling him to believe and not doubt. I think this is something of a misnomer. Remember, Jesus told all of his disciples in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 to not believe anyone if they said, “Hey! He’s in the Desert! or Hey! He’s inside!” I tend to think that Thomas was just taking Jesus at his word to not believe anybody if they said he was here, because his coming would be unmistakable.
So what about Jesus statement to Thomas not to doubt? I think it was more a statement of fact than an actual rebuke. “Thomas, you have believed because you have seen… but blessed are those who have not seen, but have believed anyway.” It is true, we are blessed even though we haven’t physically seen Jesus (some of us, anyway) and yet believe. The only evidence we have for Jesus being real is that A) we can’t find his burial tomb with him inside of it… and B), we have a 2000 year old book that tells us so. In this sense, the humanist has a solid point in saying that belief in Christianity is foolish, because we believe a book that says of itself that it is the Word of God, and that Jesus rose from the dead. This isn’t exactly the most empiric form of logic around. I think this all comes back to something Stuart did during my track 2… he called us in from the prayer room for a meeting because he was about to go on a ministry trip and wanted to say good bye, and the first thing he did(didn’t say hey or nothing) was ask us, “how many of you think this is because someone is in trouble?” and half the room raised their hands… then he said, “You see how much our hearts condemn us?” I really think that Jesus wasn’t rebuking Thomas as much as making a statement of fact. Ahh, the imperfection of interpretation.