Doubting Thomas? Really?

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Caravaggio...
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Caravaggio (1601–02) — “Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Now Thomas (also known as 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.”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!” 2Then 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.” (John 20:24-29 NIV)

How often do you hear people talk about Doubting Thomas?  Often we attribute doubting only to him.  This is a bit unfair.  I don’t doubt that you are like me in that you have had doubts.  To be fair, our doubts probably aren’t about the resurrection of our Savior.  I think it’s about time we stop giving Thomas the bad moniker, “Doubting Thomas.”  The following Scriptures helps to make the case.

We forget parallel Scriptures of this interaction of Jesus and the Apostles:

  • Mark 16:14. Jesus “rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.”  I can’t recall anyone calling another person a doubting Apostle.
  • John 1:46.  Philip doubted before he met Jesus.  Ironically, the general population speak often of Thomas’ doubt but not of Philip’s initial doubt.
  • Matt 28:17. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. This shows that Thomas wasn’t the only one with doubt.

Other doubters in the bible:

  • Abraham:  Gen 17:17.  He had doubts that he’d become a father
  • Sarah:  Gen 18:12.  She had doubts she would become a mother in her old age
  • Moses: Exod 3:10-15.  Had doubts about leading the children of Israel out of Egypt
  • The Israelites: Exodus.  The grumbling doubters took 40 years for a 3-day tour.  Makes the Gilligan Island 3-hour tour look really short!
  • Gideon: Judges 6:14-23.  Became a judge and leader.
  • Zechariah (Luke 1:18).  Doubted, or questioned the fact that he’d become a father at an old age.

Ok, you’re asking, “What’s In It For Me?”  Great question.  I just wanted you to be more aware of the fact that there were more doubters in the bible.  Now, that you’re armed with this little information, you can help people to know about the other “Doubting Thomases” in the bible.  I don’t “doubt” you can help them gain a new-found understanding of this issue.

Yves

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