doubt–a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails,
and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side,
I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.
Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said,
“Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands;
and put out your hand, and place it in my side.
Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20: 24-29
I love the way Jesus dealt with Thomas’ doubt! He was patient with it as He so often is with our frailties. He allowed Thomas to feel the holes where the nails went in, and spear had gone. For some of the apostles, that was what it took to be convinced of the truth of the gospel. Seeing Jesus standing in the room wasn’t quite enough. They needed to touch, feel, and examine Him!
Jesus doesn’t berate Thomas for needing that, but He doesn’t allow him to stay in that place! Jesus tells Thomas to look and touch, but then to move from disbelief or doubt to belief! Which is exactly what happened! Many of these men were going to be martyrs for the cause of Christ or called to hardship and difficulty in the years ahead. They needed to be certain that Jesus’ message was true!
What happened later to Thomas? Tradition tells us that he became a missionary to India and was later martyred. Imagine if he had doubted the truth of his message regarding Jesus? or the Gospel?
He needed to be confident of his message and of the One in whom He was placing His trust!
Doubt is a weird creature. It can loom large and dark. But GOD can intervene with His Light to open the cracks and crevices of darkness and show forth the light of the gospel. It can change doubters to believers. It can make dark places light.
May it be so for each of us.