Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tom, Follower and Believer of Christ

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:24-29 NIV

You know, I think that Thomas gets a bum rap in the christian world. He is known as "Doubting Thomas." When I read this passage what I think is that Thomas is just human. As a matter of fact let's call him Tom. Now think about it, Tom, was one of the twelve disciples. So he was one of Jesus' friends/followers. He knew that Jesus, his friend, was crucified and died a horrible death. He probably knew that they were not on the top twelve of the most popular people list either. One day his friends said that Jesus came and visited them and he wasn't dead afterall.

Okay...wait a minute...if you knew that someone was dead and you knew where he was burried (totally dead) wouldn't you be a little skeptical? I know that I would probably think, "Wow, their grief has driven them a bit crazy! They must have seen a guy who looks like Christ because I know that he is dead! I was there!" Or could it be an imposter trying to find all of the remaining twelve to cash in on a little reward money? But alive? No way, not unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side!"

Who could blame the poor guy? And how many times have you said, "Not unless I see it myself with my own eyes will I believe such in such."

But Jesus knew. He knew Tom. Jesus came and told Tom to reach right in my nail scars and touch me...believe me...it's true! I am really here! Jesus actually said, "Stop doubting and believe.” But I think that Jesus gave Tom what He knew that Tom needed. Jesus gave Tom the confirmation that yes, indeed, it is true...I have risen from the dead...it really is ME! Jesus was gracious to Tom. There have been so many people who refer to Doubting Thomas in a negative connatation but I am wondering if those very same people wouldn't have done the same thing if they were in that situation? But Jesus loved Tom enough to provide the exact evidence, of what Tom needed, to believe in Him.

After Tom touched the nail scarred hands, he immediately knew that it was true. He believed! He exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!"

Then scripture says in vs. 29 that Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We are blessed! We have never seen Jesus in the flesh and we believe! Yippy! But I am here to tell you that even if we haven't seen Jesus in the flesh we have seen glimpses of Him. We have seen miraculous provision and miracles. We have seen His love displayed through others. I am truly blessed in so many ways. Jesus knows our needs and meets those very needs. He "knows" us by name. And I am truly thankful that He doesn't know me by "Doubting Shanin." He knows me by the name of Shanin, Daughter of the Most High. You noticed He never called Tom "Doubting Thomas." He didn't label or define him by that one moment or action. His name was Thomas, one of the twelve, His friend and follower of Christ. Thomas the believer :)

The world will label you. The enemy will try and tell you that you are a doubter, you are ineffective, a loser but our Father says that you are a son or daughter of Christ! You are victorious through Him. So proudly claim what He has provided for you, salvation, the crown of righteousness. Don't let people label you a doubting Suzy or John. You are a child of the King!


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