After Easter – Doubt ( Part 3 )

BELIEVE

Do you go through life with continual questioning and doubt – do you find yourself always looking for logical  answers to satisfy your reason and mind ?

I want to see it to believe it.  We on many days could be considered a  “Doubting Thomas”

John 20:26-27   NLT

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

A week later, the disciples again find themselves locked in a room, afraid of arrest and persecution.  Although the scripture tells us that the doors to the room were locked, Jesus appears, standing in their midst.  His first words were “Peace be with you.”  But then he singles out Thomas, and demands that he step forward. “Put your finger in my wound, see my hands, reach out and touch me.  Do not doubt, believe,” Jesus demands of Thomas.  And with those words, Thomas immediately recognizes Jesus, and says, “My Lord and My God.”  And Jesus responds, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have come to believe.

The beauty in this story for me is in Jesus’ love for Thomas – even in his doubt.  By Jesus’ compassion for Thomas, Jesus acknowledges that deep faith requires perseverance, it requires attention to both the head and the heart, and it takes time.

There are people who do not need to see to believe.  People who have heard the old, old stories and imprinted them on their hearts.  As we grow older and navigate our way thru more and more of life’s circumstances we tend to get a better long term perspective of God’s plan and His love and faithfulness for us. It is why we see many of our older members of our communities to be so well rooted and read in the Bible ( often knowing them better than pastors and SS teachers ). They have lived and seen lived out so many life experiences where faith was proven out that in their minds it is just a daily truth for them. God has supported and strengthened their faith over time and the fact that God is in control of this world is now a part of their lives and the foundation that they live their lives on every day.

When we doubt in our day to day life and our cynical nature holds us up waiting on God to show us a sign we would do well to remember Jesus words to Thomas    …….Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 

Even as a believer and Pastor the resurrection is still  a mystery I continue to ponder.  I still live Thomas’s question; I continue to wonder about how it might have happened.  But theologically, I know that resurrection is truth.  Resurrection faith is our assertion that life is stronger than death, that love is stronger than hate, that hope is stronger than despair, that truth will overcome evil.  I find great comfort in the words of Paul to the church in Rome,

Romans 8: 38-39

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[p] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

The story of Thomas is not about doubting. The story of Thomas is about a merciful and loving Jesus who will come to us where we are and give us what we need to believe. Accepting Jesus extends to us both Mercy and Grace. Mercy is not getting something we deserve and Grace is getting something we never deserved at all. Forgiveness of our sins is God’s Mercy provided in Jesus death and the promise of Life beyond this life in Heaven is God’s Grace provided in the promise of eternal life through Jesus resurrection.

One Responses

  • Tracy

    I read somewhere that Mercy is “love that responds to human need in an unexpected or unmerited way”

    Reply

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