The Confession of a Skeptic
Last week we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. We talked about how the resurrection is truly the reason Christianity even exists. It is what gives us hope of eternal life. The apostles didn’t expect the resurrection, this is why they were amazed when they saw Jesus. Jesus began to appear to his disciples, to give them evidence that he was truly alive. This changed their sadness into joy. Imagine how joyous it would be to see the man who was killed talking with them again. John tells us that the evening of the same day when Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples were gathered, but Thomas was not there. Thomas is known my many as doubting Thomas, but I think we all could relate to him at some point in our lives.
Doubt is defined: as to be uncertain about something; to believe that something may not be true or is unlikely. To have no confidence in someone or something. Doubt is very common in us, it comes from the time the first humans doubted God.
Thomas was one of the twelve apostles. He followed Jesus for about 3 years and he witnessed the miracles, he saw the supernatural and heard Jesus’ teaching. The first time we hear Thomas speak was John 11; Jesus was going to Judea and the disciples didn’t think it wise to go back there, since they had tried to stone Jesus. Jesus was going to resurrect Lazarus. Thomas then said: “Let us also go with him that we may die with him.” John 11:16. He understood that going there could cost them their lives. Thomas asked questions when he didn’t understand something. “ Lord we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
In our text, the other apostles told Thomas they had seen the Lord and he said he would only believe it if he saw Jesus and touched him. He wanted tangible evidence. Thomas had some trust issues; he refused to believe the testimony of his friends. You and I have friends that we have a tough time believing what comes out of their mouths, but we also have others, that we believe it because they say it; we know them well and trust their testimonies. The apostles didn’t have any reason to lie to Thomas or make this up.
Thomas just chose not to believe his friends. He didn’t even bother to look into the matter. There are people like that, who claim not to believe in Jesus or what the Bible teaches, but they don’t even try to disprove it or do their own research. Thomas’ point is “I saw what they did to him, dead people don’t rise from the dead.” Thomas had seen Jesus resurrect people from the dead, he was there when Jesus called Lazarus out from the grave. But this time Thomas demanded to be able to see Jesus’ nail marks and to even touch his side. (v.25)
A week went by and the disciples were in the house again, then Jesus appeared to them again. (v.26) “Peace be with you” Jesus singled out Thomas.
Be careful what you ask for. (v.27) You wanted evidence, here I am come examine it.
Stop doubting, stop being unbelieving and believe.
Thomas’s confession: “My Lord and my God!”
Thomas finally recognized Jesus as Lord and God; he finally got convicted after seen the resurrected Jesus. If Jesus wasn’t God, he would have corrected Thomas here.
Jesus: Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
You and I are blessed because we didn’t get the chance to see Jesus or walk with him, but we believe he is the Savior, the Lord, God of the universe.
What evidence are you demanding in order to believe in Jesus? He is welcoming your doubts and insecurities. He is also calling you to examine the evidence. The empty tomb; the apostles’ writings; the changes he creates in people’s lives.
John the writer of the gospel and Revelation tells us why he wrote the gospel. John wanted his audience to be certain that Jesus truly is the Christ and that life is found only in him.
Jesus did many other miracles which I didn’t include in this volume, but what I have included. I wrote this account so you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. This is John’s purpose in writing.
There is power in the name of Jesus; he changes skeptics into theologians, missionaries. When people have an encounter with the risen Christ, they are never the same.
When I was a teenager, I wanted to be happy. I wanted my life to have meaning. I became hounded by three basic questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
Finally I could come to only one conclusion: If I were to remain intellectually honest, I had to admit that the Old and New Testament documents were some of the most reliable writings in all of antiquity. And if they were reliable, what about this man Jesus, whom I had dismissed as a mere carpenter?
I had to admit that Jesus Christ was more than a carpenter. He was all He claimed to be.
Not only did my research turn me around intellectually, but it also answered the three questions that started me on my quest for happiness and meaning.
Lee Strobel, Normal Geisler, Ravi Zacharias and many others.
Stop doubting and believe. The evidence is there, but you have to be willing to seek it!