For Thomas, the disciple most like some of us, doubt.
Yes, even after Easter, Thomas doubted.
Even after being told by at least a dozen (ten disciples, two Marys), Thomas still doubted.
Even after the Old Testament Scriptures prophesied the resurrection.
Even after Jesus predicted His resurrection.
Thomas, like some of us, admitted his doubts.Is Doubt Sin?
We chastise Thomas.
We think Jesus chastised Thomas.
Jesus did not.
Challenge him. Engage him. Invite him. Yes.
“Then Jesus told him [Thomas], ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).
For Thomas, “seeing is believing.” In fact, “touching is believing.” He required tangible evidence that demanded a verdict.
Jesus gave it to him. “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27).
For Thomas, and those like him, empirical evidence is part of the wrestling match of faith.
Those who can believe without any empirical evidence, they truly are blessed. That childlike faith is wonderful.
Not all have such faith.
The Welcome Mat Out
He offers evidence that demands a verdict. He welcomes intellectual seekers. He invites exploration. He does not chastise doubt; rather, He enters it.
The act of inviting Thomas to touch His side signals that Jesus is keenly aware of the place of doubt in faith.
Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote “There is more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds . . .”
Doubt is not the opposite of faith.
Because faith is not certainty, or it would not be faith.
Faith is committing to believing when other competing beliefs still exist, still abound.
The Christian life, this side of heaven, is, for some (like Thomas), an ongoing candid, honest, intellectual conversation between faith and doubt.
Don’t check your mind at the door marked “faith.”