Breathing Room

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” 

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. John 20:24-30

Insight 

Poor Thomas. Two thousand years after he expressed his doubt, we’re all still talking about it. Which is pretty unfair given that plenty of people in the Bible had doubts about the deity of Christ. Even John the Baptist (Luke 7:19) and Jesus’s own brothers (John 7:5), to name a few.  

Thomas would’ve fit right into today’s culture, which tends to celebrate skepticism and its harsher cousin, cynicism. The Associated Press Stylebook differentiates between the two this way: “A skeptic is a doubter. A cynic is a disbeliever.” A skeptic will believe with enough evidence. A cynic refuses to believe despite the evidence. 

Thomas wasn’t a cynic. In fact, my heart goes out to him. He had spent three years of his life following Jesus, only to watch it all end in a gruesome death on the cross. Thomas was heartbroken and didn’t want to be hurt again. His doubt wasn’t final; it left some breathing room for belief.

Cue Christ, whose first words directly to Thomas were an invitation to touch His healed wounds! Isn’t that just like Jesus? He meets us where we are so He can take us where we need to be. Thomas needed to have his faith restored, and his response — “My Lord and my God!” — assures us it was. 

For 40+ years, I had my doubts about whether Jesus was indeed the Son of God. He met me in my skepticism, providing me with a husband who gently shared the truth, the Bible to awaken my spirit, and small-group friends who helped me research and wrestle with my questions. 

Jesus will do the same for every one of us when we leave room to believe.

Reflection

•  Where do you have doubts about God?

•   Have you been straight with God about what you’re wrestling with?

•   What might be a next step toward addressing the doubt (prayer, study, talking with a godly friend, etc.)?  

Prayer

Dear Jesus, unlike Thomas we can’t see You face-to-face. We don’t see Your scars up close and personal. But we thank You for Your Word, which tells us Your story in such remarkable, thrilling detail. Don’t let our lack of understanding stand in the way of faith in You. Instead, give us wisdom to see truth when it’s right in front of us. In Your gracious name we pray. Amen. 

PC3 writer Katy Davis wrote today’s devotional.

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