As you might guess, I’m writing of Thomas the disciple of Jesus. We aren’t given much detail about him, though more than most of the others. He is best known for doubting the resurrection of Jesus until he could “…see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side…” (John 20:25.) Even people unfamiliar with the Bible know the meaning of the appellation “doubting Thomas.”
I’m glad that Thomas was included among Jesus’ closest followers. I identify with him. Despite all that Jesus did and said while He was with them including raising others from the dead, Thomas wanted the proof. Some days later Jesus obliged. What I find comforting in this story is that though Jesus’ words to Thomas may be considered a reproof, they were not a dismissal or a curse. Jesus met Thomas where he was. He challenged Thomas to grow in faith saying, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:29)
I hear that challenge. For me, not seeing is quite literal, and it has been an obstruction to my faith. It is forcing me to reevaluate everything I thought I knew. In that process a faith that was once microscopic might even be visible to the naked eye now, though I think it’s still far short of the mustard seed. It grows as I see God’s gracious hand weaving a beautiful pattern out of the broken threads of my life. For all that I have been given, I ought to be a giant, but I am still week and foolish. I still want to see with my eyes and with my mind everything laid out before me. I want the details. I want the proof.
Thomas was reproved but not rejected. He continued on with the other disciples. Tradition has it that he was the first missionary to India and was there martyred for his faith. So I take heart. If Thomas had to be convinced after all the time he spent in the company of Jesus and yet was accepted, then my questions will not doom me. God is meeting me where I am. Of His sovereignty and His sacrifice I have no doubt at all. It is the details I get lost in.