John 20:29 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
As he prepared his followers to live faithfully after his return to heaven, Jesus addressed the challenge of doubt and unbelief. Thomas was a realist. He knew that resurrections were not everyday events, and he feared that his fellow followers of Christ might have gotten it wrong. He wanted evidence. He demanded proof.
It’s easy to criticize Thomas for his doubts, but the truth is that many of us live with similar hesitations. After all, Jesus is no longer on earth for us to see and touch. We cannot have the same experience as the first disciples who walked with him after his resurrection. So we need Jesus to prepare us for the challenges of skepticism and doubt in our own lives.
What does Jesus say to struggling followers? “Stop doubting and believe.” We may not have the opportunity to feel the wounds of the cross with our own hands. But we have the testimony of lives changed by the Lord’s power. We can seek out the fellowship of other believers in the church and be encouraged by their words. And we can watch for the glory of Christ to appear around us, joining in with Thomas’s beautiful confession: “My Lord and my God!”
May the ascended Christ prepare you today to meet the challenge of doubt with the blessing of faith.
Dear Lord, it is sometimes hard to believe. We live in an age of doubts and lies, and our human minds constantly demand proof. But we believe; save us from unbelief! Fill us with faith. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.