Summary: The importance of trusting in God when we don’t understand His ways
Thomas: Struggling to Believe
Primary Purpose: The importance of trusting God when we don’t understand
We look at the disciple today many call “Doubting Thomas”, but I
would say to you that I don’t think that’s the right title for Thomas. We just
can’t imagine after all the time Jesus had been with the disciples, what a
shock the cross was. To see the leader you have been following scourged,
mocked, beaten within an inch of his life and then brutally hung on a cross. It
was shocking, depressing and very difficult to understand. The disciples
didn’t understand it at first. When Mary came from the tomb saying she had
seen Jesus, Mark 16:10-11 they didn’t believe her. Scripture said they were
crying and in mourning. Thomas apparently went off to be by himself and
mourn. When the others came to Thomas and told them what he had seen
they couldn’t believe it. (Read Text).
Thomas was one of those people who like to be alone with their
thoughts apparently when they are distressed. Some people are like that.
They don’t want to be around others. Still other people never want to be
alone. It doesn’t matter who is around them, just so that somebody is.
Thomas went somewhere, we don’t know where and spent some time trying
to adjust his mind to what he had witnessed. He was heartbroken. He
thought it was the end. But, it was really only the beginning.
Some people just won’t believe in something unless they see it. It
reminds me of a church member I heard about called Harriet. Harriet was
one to jump to conclusions and was very judgmental. She had made some
church members mad in the past. She confronted George, the newest member
of the church, when she saw his pickup parked in front of the local bar all day
long. She didn’t even ask what it was doing there. She accused George of
being an alcoholic. She embarrased him in front of other church members.
Well, George wasn’t the type to make a seen. But, he got her back all
right. Later that night, George quietly drove his pickup over to Harriet’s
house and parked it in plain view right in front of her house, all night long.
Some people say they can’t accept some truths by faith. All the will
believe in is what they can see. Yet, our vision can be impaired and
sometimes we can misunderstand what we see. Jesus told Thomas and the
others that the truly blessed person is the one who doesn’t see him, yet
Last time I took my driver’s test, I had to take an eye exam. I tried it
first without glasses. The lady asked me to read the bottom line. It told her I
didn’t see a bottom, middle or top line. I told her all I saw was a white page.
She told me to put on my glasses. I did-- and magically 3 lines appeared. If I
had said earlier that those lines weren’t there, I would have been wrong.
Some people act as though if the numbers don’t all add up then they
won’t believe it. They say they won’t believe something by faith. But, we
have to believe in some things by faith. I don’t understand how oxygen goes
into the body and feeds into the lungs and provides life to the cells in my
body, but I believe it. I don’t know how a airplane weighing several tons
takes off off the ground and flys, but it does. I put my faith in it and get on
the plane and take off. We accept many others things by faith also.
I see Thomas as a man who was struggling to understand God’s ways.
That’s okay. We all have times in our walk with God when we struggle to
understand his timing, His plan or His silence. He didn’t understand at all
that Jesus had to walk through death to defeat it (Romans 5:10-11). He
didn’t understand that the Lamb of God had to be sacrificed. He thought the
victory belonged to the Pharisees that day. His sorrow knew no limit that day.
But, the victory didn’t belong to anyone but to God and us that day. Jesus
turned the tables and brought salvation to us through that old cross. Thomas
didn’t understand what was happening any more than the other disciples.
Yet, there is something great and endearing about old Thomas. Once
he made up his mind about something nothing could stop him. And if you
think about it, would you rather have a person make a shallow commitment or
take some time and think about it and make a deep and abiding commitment
and stay the course.
Barclay once said about Thomas “Faith was never an easy thing for