Posts Tagged ‘Thomas’

I am sure we have all heard the term “Doubting Thomas”. Some of us have maybe even been called that when we do not believe in something our families, and/or friends think is true. However Thomas, who was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, made the statement that unless he could see the holes in Jesus’ hands and thrust his hand into his side, he would not believe. Over the years I have heard many messages from pastors and other believers who have belittled, put down, and criticized Thomas for wanting proof that Jesus was alive. I believed what I heard and for the longest while I thought there was something wrong with Thomas for being reluctant to go along with the other disciples were saying. However, I have learned a couple of things over the years. The first thing is man can say whatever he/she wants but we should never blindly go along and not do our own research. The second thing is before we form an opinion on anything we need to go to the Word and see what is written and not take it out of context. I am going to try to show Thomas from a different angle.

First thing I wanted to bring up is 1 Thessalonians 5:21 where it says to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”  The Greek word for prove is “dokimazo” which means to discern and examine. In other words, Paul is saying we need to investigate things thoroughly and inspect them in detail. How do we do that today? We use God’s Word. If it cannot be proven in the Word, then we should not give any more thought to it. If something is good Paul says we should hold fast to it because obviously it is from God and He believes it is important so we should to.

What I found next is really interesting. In 1 John 4:1 it says “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” When I looked up the Greek word for try, I found it was the exact same word for prove! So not only does Paul stress the importance of using discernment and examine things, but John does too. In fact, the Greek word for believe is “pisteuo” which means to make a commitment to or put one’s trust in.

So when looking at the meaning of these Greek words, we can see the importance of making sure we do our due diligence in getting to the bottom of things. The best part is Jesus said in John 14:26 that he would leave us the Comforter or the Holy Spirit who shall teach us all things. The Holy Spirit will show us when things are not right and are not of God because that is His job. How do I know this? Well in John 16:13 Jesus said when the Holy Spirit comes, He will guide us into all truth. What a great promise that is!

Paul also said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15 is that we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God and rightly dividing the word of truth. The Greek word for dividing is “orthotomeo”. This means to dissect correctly. In other words, we are to not only investigate, but to really go over the facts of what we find. The Greek word for study is “spoudazo” which means to to make an effort, be diligent, and to labour or work. Thankfully we are not alone and have help. The Holy Spirit is standing by to reveal and guide us into all truth.

Another piece of great news is we have a loving Father in Heaven who just loves to give us good gifts. When we are studying and investigating, we need wisdom. In James 1:5 it says that when we want wisdom, just ask God as He gives to all men liberally. In other words, it is His good pleasure to freely give us wisdom because He wants us to succeed and to always have the truth. After all, Jesus said in John 8:32 is that we shall know that truth and the truth will set us free. Isn’t that an awesome promise?

In 1 John 4:1, John made the reference that many false prophets had gone into the world, which was not good. Jesus knows that the devil is a liar and a deceiver. In Matthew 24 the disciples were asking Jesus about his return to the earth and the sign of his coming. Notice in verse 4 Jesus did not answer their question immediately. He said to take heed that no man deceives you. Obviously for Jesus to say that first He knew it was of the utmost importance  to get the message across that deception will be running rampant until He comes back.

What I saw next I totally missed every other time I read the scripture. In John 20:19-29 it talks about how Jesus appeared to His disciples right up until Thomas wanted his proof. In verse 19 Jesus appeared to the disciples  and after He said “Peace to you” the bible says  He showed them His hands and His side. Did you catch that? He showed them and they all saw His wounds for themselves. Unfortunately for Thomas, verse 24 says he was not with them on that occasion so he did not get to see Jesus then. Perhaps he thought the others were playing a cruel trick on him or perhaps he thought that since they got to see for themselves, he wanted to as well.

Now 8 days after that, all the disciples were together and Jesus appeared to them again. He said to Thomas in verse 27 to reach out with his finger and touch his hands and thrust his hand into his side so he would believe. Thomas didn’t even have to do that as he said in the next verse “My Lord and my God.”  Now in verse 29 Jesus said to Thomas that since Thomas saw him, he believed and blessed are those who do not see him and believe. Now before you start thinking I have shot myself in the foot because Jesus said that blessed are those who do not see him and believe I will say this: Jesus did not go back to Heaven yet. As soon as the ascension was complete then and only then could people be blessed for having faith even though they have never seen him. How can we say Thomas was a doubter when the other disciples saw Jesus’ wounds for themselves? All Thomas wanted was equal treatment.

In closing, the lesson I have learned throughout writing this is to carefully read the scriptures and not to take what I hear necessarily as the truth. One cannot assume that what they hear is always from God as we all are human and thus we err. At the end of the day, man can say all he or she wants, but what does God say in His Word? That is what truly matters and when we study the scriptures this way, God will give us that answers we need and we will be able to pass on our knowledge to others.

God bless you all!