“Stop doubting and believe”
By: Ysrael De la Cruz
Last week I talked about how the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the foundation of the Christian faith. It is the reason Christianity exists today. The disciples were not transformed because the tomb was empty; they were transformed because they saw Jesus alive. Jesus appeared to his disciples giving them evidence that he was truly alive. The resurrection testified to Jesus’ identity as the Messiah sent from God.
Ever since Jesus appeared preaching, people were confused about his identity; some saw him as a great teacher, a prophet, miracle worker. The apostles believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Peter had confessed Jesus to be Messiah, the Son of the Living God. But the cross brought about so many doubts and insecurities in the minds of the apostles since they did not expect the Messiah to die. They thought everything ended with the cross. Imagine the joy they felt when they saw Jesus alive.
Jesus had told them that they would see them again and their sadness would turn into joy. 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. John 20:24-30
Thomas is known by many as doubting Thomas, but I think we all could relate to him at some point in our lives.
Doubt (webster), to call into question the truth; to be uncertain about something. To lack confidence in (distrust)
To consider something unlikely. ( I really doubt this would happen)
Doubt is very common in us; we all have experienced times or periods of doubts in our lives. Times of uncertainty and insecurities. Times in which we doubt God’s provision and protection on our behalf.
Thomas called into question what he heard from his friends. He really thought it would be unlikely that Jesus was alive. He did not believe the report of his friends.
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 was dangerous. Thomas asked questions when he didn’t understand something. He was very logical. Jesus had said that he was going to prepare a place and then come back for them. Jesus said that they knew the way to the place he was going. Thomas speaks on behalf of the other apostles. “ Lord we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” John 14:5
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.
(v.27) You wanted evidence, here I am, come examine it.
Stop doubting, stop being unbelieving and believe. Stop being incredulous and believe.
Thomas’s confession: “My Lord (master) 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.” (v.29)
You and I are blessed because we didn’t get the chance to see Jesus or walk with him, but we believe the testimony of his apostles. Jesus is Lord and God. Jesus had prayed for those who would believe the apostles’ message. John 17:20 He prayed for you and me and those who have not yet believed that they become believers now that we have the testimony, the written records of the apostles.
Do you still need more evidence to believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be? He is calling you to examine the evidence. The empty tomb; the apostles’ writings; the origin of the Christian faith; the transformation he creates in people.
John’s testimony: (the writer)
John 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.
Jesus continues to transform skeptics into believers. When people have an encounter with the risen Christ, they are never the same.
Jesus is calling you to stop doubting and become a believer. The evidence is there for you to examine it.