Summary: Character Study - Thomas - – sermon by Gordon Curley. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

  Study Tools
  Study Tools


The Realist (John 11:6-16)

The Questioner (John 14:1-6)

The Doubter (John 20:24-29)



• Some people are household names:

• You know who they are, and what they do or are famous for.

• Pele - Football

• Pavoroti - Singer

• Dickens - Literature

• Picasso - Painting & Art.

• Morcombe & Wise - Comedians.

• Einstein - Science.


Some people are linked to things:

• Samson & Haircuts.

• Joseph & his coat.

• Jonah & Fish.

• Eve & Apple(!).

• Noah & ark.

• Gideon & Fleece.

Some people are linked to occupations:

• Peter: Fisherman,

• Rahab: Harlot,

• Zacceus: Tax Collector.

• Luke: Doctor.

Some people are linked to particular deeds:

• John the baptiser.

• Judas the betrayer.

• John the beloved;

• Peter the rock & Stephen the Martyr.

Our character study tonight:

• Involves a man who throughout Church history;

• Has had attached to him an unfortunate nick-name – ‘Doubting Thomas’.

• The New Testament gives him several names:

• He is called ‘Thomas the Apostle’, also called ‘Judas Thomas’,

• Or ‘Didymus’ which means ‘Twin’,

• But perhaps he is better known as ‘Doubting Thomas’.

When it comes to the subject of doubt:

• Opinions among Christians vary greatly.

• To some, doubt represents rank unbelief!

• Others, though, argue that it is essential to any intelligent pursuit of the truth.

• Quote: “There lives more faith in honest doubt, than in all the creeds.


• Pick up any Christian book of quotes,

• And you will find the great men & women of God split as to their opinion.

• Personally, I don’t believe that we must choose sides,

• When it comes to the problem of doubt:

• I believe it is possible for both faith and doubt to coexist.

• Quote: "Doubts are the grappling hooks by which the mountains of truth can be scaled”.

Question: What do we mean by doubt?


• Doubt is different to unbelief

• “Unbelief is when we know what is right, but refuse to obey and trust.”


• Naaman – General of the Syrian army (2 Kings chapter 5 verse 12):

• Told by the prophet of God to wash in the river Jordan seven times – but he refused;

Saying; “the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel?

Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage”.

• “Unbelief is when God says something to us, but we refuse to do it.”

• That is wrong and ‘unbelief’ in the Bible is a sin.

• Because it is disobeying God.

Doubt is very different to unbelief

• Quote: “Doubt is when you want to believe but you are not sure you are able to.”

• And I do not believe that is a sin

• ‘Doubt’ is not being sure of the truth – and uncertain with your trust.

• ill: Man who came to Jesus in Mark chapter 9 verse 24:

• “I believe help me over-come my unbelief!”

I think that the doubt that Thomas expressed well in this quote.

"His doubt had a purpose. Thomas wanted to know the truth, his doubt gives evidence not of a lack of faith, but of a desire to have faith founded in fact not fancy."


• Doubt often comes to us when we reach the limits of our understanding.

• When we cannot with our inadequate minds figure things out.

• Or when we encounter a sudden, unexpected calamity.

• When life takes us through twists and turns that make absolutely no sense.

• Or when we pray for a certain thing and the exact opposite occurs.

• Or when we obey and do what is right and suffer miserably for it.

• Or when we take a course at school or college;

• That seems to make more sense than the faith we have been raised in.

• Or when someone we respected and look up to;

• Suddenly denies the faith and walks away.

• These are the kinds of circumstances that often raise unsettling questions.

• And cause us to doubt God.

When Jesus selected his disciples:

• He included one man whose name has become a synonym for doubt:

• Thomas – remember Thomas was not a mistake,

• He was chosen as a man of certain qualities!

• Jesus handpicked this man called Thomas,

• He called him for a high calling

• i.e. An apostle and in time Thomas would fulfil that calling!


• In the gospel of John, Thomas gets three occasions when he is the focus:

• In fact, John is the only gospel that makes any real mention of him;

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

After Easter
PowerPoint Template
After Easter
PowerPoint Template
Easter Continued
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion