Summary: Thomas wasn't the only disciple to doubt Jesus' resurrection. They all doubted it. So why was Thomas branded the "doubter"... and what difference can that make to us?

INTRO: Years ago, there were two friends who went for a drive in the country. Walter was sharing a dream with his friend, Art, as they drove off the main road thru a grove of trees into a large expanse of land. Walter said he had a dream for what he could do with this land and that he planned develop a family attraction there - but that the venture would use all of HIS money. He told Art that the land on which they were standing bordered the proposed building site and asked Art if he would consider buying up all of the adjacent land to build restaurants and hotels because the land values would soar in just a matter of time. Art’s only response was doubt and disbelief. He told Walter he was crazy! Why would anybody drive for miles from the city to the middle of “nowhere?” There was no way he was going to spend money on a crazy dream like that. And that was how, Art Linkletter (a prominent TV personality of the day) turned down Walt Disney when he was offered the opportunity to buy up all the land surrounded… what later became Disneyland. Doubt cost Art Linkletter a fortune.

And the Bible warns US that we have to be careful, because DOUBT can cost us a great deal as well.

James 1:5-8 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, WITH NO DOUBTING, for the one who DOUBTS is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

You see, DOUBT can be a dangerous thing. And that brings us to the Disciple we’re talking about today - the disciple that everyone knows as “Doubting Thomas.” I’m not sure when they starting calling him “doubting Thomas”, but one source noted that it was as early as the 6th century that artwork began to portray what had become known as the “Incredulity (or doubting) of Thomas.”

Now, of late, there’s been those who’ve thought this labeling of doubt has been unfair to Thomas. One person said “In the end, the nickname ‘Doubting Thomas’ is a rather unfortunate one. It’s true that Thomas demanded evidence of the miracle of Christ’s resurrection before he accepted the truth. Doubt factored into his response to his friends, but it was not the defining quality of his life. Thomas should be better known for his loyalty, his obedience to the gospel, and his faith. (

In other words - cut Thomas some slack. He actually DID accept the truth of the resurrection after doubting for a bit. And he wasn’t really ALL that bad a guy.

Now others have rightly pointed out that Thomas wasn’t the only one who doubted Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. When the women reported to the Disciples that Jesus had risen “Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” Luke 24:10-11

And later we’re told “Jesus himself stood among (the disciples), and said to them, "Peace to you!" But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.” Luke 24:36-40

Really? I thought ONLY Thomas had to see the hands and feet of Jesus to be convinced! But here in Luke, ALL the disciples needed to see the nail prints to help with their doubts. Thomas was NOT the only one who doubted! They ALL did.

So, why did Thomas get so much attention about this? Well I think it was because he deserved the attention. And I don’t think it was because of his doubt as much as HOW he expressed his doubt. I believe it was because of how he expressed his doubt he deserved the LABEL “doubting Thomas.”

But, before we get to that, we need to realize that Thomas (and the rest of the disciples) should have known that Jesus was going to rise from the dead.

Matthew 16:21-22 (After Peter made the good confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God) Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you."

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