I’ve been thinking about doubt. I’ve been thinking about the limitations of our faith and what does that mean. If I can’t imagine God’s ability to do something, to act in a particular way or change what appears to be unchangeable, does that mean I doubt?
I think it is interesting that one of the disciples doubted. He wasn’t there when the risen Lord showed up and so he spoke out his doubt. It wasn’t his words that made him a doubter, it was the gap between what he knew and what others were saying. The fact that the other disciples said they had seen the risen Jesus only caused Thomas to say I want to see it to believe it.
I suspect most of us have had our own version of such a saying.
When I was in my 20’s I was wondering if we were making the right decision and it was a big decision. I had my doubts and they flew in the face of what was a very strong “word from the Lord”. I had no reason to doubt but my fear meant I was faced with increasing my faith. So I was worried and I think worry can be seen by some as doubt.
Then one day I ended up meeting a man. I had never seen or met him before I never met or saw him again. But he knew what I was wrestling with and spoke to me in a way that, well I can’t explain, except to say he squashed my doubt and encouraged me to believe and then he was gone. Yup, gone.
He walked into a crowd of people and “disappeared”. I can’t even remember his name.
He challenged me to believe, though. In a sense, he challenged my worry, my doubt. I didn’t give him any details yet he knew them all.
Thomas was invited to put his finger in the very marks of Christ’s crucifixion and believe.Sometimes we preach on Thomas like he’s the one who doesn’t measure up to Peter, James, and John
Yet in many ways, we are more like Thomas than Peter, James or John. We hesitate to believe, we await the personal revelation rather than grab on to the testimony of others and we let our fears play with our hearts.
The Centurion who believed that Jesus healed his servant though he had not seen brought the reaction from Jesus – “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
Let it be true of us.
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.