Devotional Scripture: John 20:24-30
"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." - John 20:25
Sometimes we read these words, and get a little high and pious about Thomas and his doubt. Thomas can be a scapegoat here if we are not careful.
Some people aren't careful . . . some people look for scapegoats.
"I sure wouldn't have doubted! I would have been a faithful disciple!"
"Doubt is a sin . . . Thomas wasn't fit to be Jesus' disciple."
Are you sure?
"In all the days of my life, I have lived every single day never doubting God."
Careful now . . .
"I always believe in Jesus 100% of the time!"
People who say this are liars.
I will go out on a limb here . . . every single person in the world . . . including people-of-faith and non-believers . . . all have had doubts at one time or another. We've all have questions. We've all been asked to believe, at various times in our lives, something that does not agree with how we see and understand our world.
Each of us sees and lives life through a set of filters, or a particular "world-view."
An example is this . . . you have a certain world-view if you believe that 1 + 1 = 2.
However, there are certain sets of numbers where 1 + 1 does not equal 2.
That's a different world-view.
Some of us can go on a trip . . . and never once look at a map. We enjoy just driving and seeing where we end up.
Another example of a world-view.
Some of us can go on a trip . . . but we need/want/demand to have the route mapped and planned out, including our stops and where we will eat, etc.
Yep . . . another world-view.
Now, neither of these world-views is wrong . . . that is until a person who doesn't need a map and the person who does find themselves taking a trip together!!!
Bet that brings back memories of trips you've taken with others???
Thomas' worldview obviously required concrete factual evidence, especially when told that Jesus had been resurrected.
Wouldn't your world-view?
I know I would want hard evidence . . . and I know that for sure.
Honestly . . . why be ashamed of thinking like that? All of us, if after burying a loved one, were told 3 days later that they were alive . . . walking, talking, breathing, eating . . . WOULD WANT tangible concrete factual proof of such a thing before believing it.
"You want me to believe what?
Yeah, sure . . . and you have some swamp land that will make a great place for a housing development, right?"
Why ask for, or require, evidence?
My answer . . . I think that most of us have the same world-view about death.
You see . . . the world view of most of us is this . . . "death always wins in the end."
Finished . . . Done . . . end of story . . . take it to the bank . . .
Jesus appears in the house with the disciples. Thomas is there.
"Thomas . . . put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
Apparantly for Thomas . . .seeing in-and-of-itself is believing . . . for the writer does not tell us that Thomas obeyed . . . but rather that he spoke, "My Lord and my God!"
Then we read these words . . . which pretty much stabs our world-view about death in the eye . . .
"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
For all of us reading this devotional today . . . we are the group that have not seen and have yet believed. Jesus says we are blessed for doing so. For we have suspended our world-view about death . . . made it turn a 180 . . . and still consider ourselves perfectly sane.
Faith requires us to suspend our world-view at times. Seeing with our eyes the hard evidence that proves something is one thing. Seeing with our soul and heart, is another.
Just a few more days to clear away and make straight your path that leads to Easter. Truth is, some of us just don't have the time left this week to clear away the junk we have left in our lives away before Easter.
There is really only one soluntion left to us. We are going to have to give all that junk to God . . . on faith . . . and trust Him to take care of it for us.
We are going to have to believe, and then move on, all without knowing just how God will handle it.
When we do this . . . Jesus shares in our devotional text that we will be blessed.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>