I think Thomas gets a bad rap. Most of us have only heard of Thomas (one of Jesus’ disciples) for one reason — he’s a doubter.
Maybe you don’t know the story. After Jesus comes back to life, the disciples (minus Thomas) are all together in a room, and Jesus appears to them. When the crew tells Thomas about it later, he says he won’t believe until he can see and touch the holes in Jesus’ hands, and put his hand into the hole in Jesus’ side (all wounds Jesus got while he was dying on the cross).
At this point we sit back, shake our heads, and criticize Thomas for having such weak faith. What a doubter. What’s his problem?
What we usually don’t acknowledge is Jesus’ response to Thomas’ doubt. About a week later, Jesus appears again. This time Thomas is there, and here’s what Jesus says to him:
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.”
(John 20:27 ESV)
Jesus does not scold Thomas for his doubt. He does not tell Thomas he’s a bad disciple or a terrible excuse for a Christ follower. He doesn’t express anger or frustration or sadness. Instead he provides Thomas with the exact proof he was asking for.
This story is one of my favorite, because it encourages me so much. I believe Jesus wants us to know that he is bigger than our doubt. He is not afraid of our questions. He knows that we’re weak and that sometimes we struggle to trust. But he is gracious. He doesn’t expect us to act like we have it all together. He welcomes our doubt, and provides us what we need to believe.
Go to Jesus with your doubt. He will help you to believe.