Summary: In our world today we face doubts all the time. Doubts in our ability to be salt and light. Doubts in God’s ability to use us for his great plan. Doubts about our worthiness to God. But Thomas let his doubts bring him closer to Jesus.
Sermon – 060423
(Set up: Time Hack request with music minister --
Check watch at start of sermon, tap it a few times then ask music minister the following:)
“What time is it?" (No matter what answer is given say:) "Naw, that can’t be right. (walk over to her to look) Let me see your watch….”
(As you walk back to the pulpit, without looking at the congregation yet, ask them:)
How many of you checked your own watches, even after you heard the time? This grown woman looked at her watch, analyzed the data, and gave us the answer, and yet many of us, somewhere in our brains, doubted her ability to correctly perform a skill mastered by the average 7-year-old child.
I. Thomas Had Doubts
a. The other apostles didn’t hear about Jesus’s appearance second hand like Thomas did: they saw Jesus in the room with them!
b. Remember that on Easter morning, when the women told them that Jesus was risen, they didn’t believe what they heard. Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves.
II. Other People in the Bible Had Doubts
a. Mark 9:14-24
i. Father with a son who was possessed by evil spirit. Disciples couldn’t cast it out, so he asked Jesus to have mercy on them and help, “Do something if you can.”
ii. When Jesus says, “Anything is possible for one who believes” the father says, “I do believe, but help me not to doubt.”
b. Matt 28:16-17 (Page 85) – Almost the Great Commission
i. “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”
ii. That’s SOME, not ONE. Thomas isn’t the only one of the disciples who doubted the risen Christ, even when Jesus was standing right in front of them!
III. Thomas Actually Faithful
a. When Jesus told his disciples they were going to Bethany following the death of Lazarus, Thomas tells the other disciples, “Let’s go with him, so that we may die also.” He knew the danger that faced all of them, since the authorities wanted to kill Jesus, but he was willing to go anyway.
b. When Thomas saw the resurrected Jesus he said, “My Lord and my God.” He was the first apostle to call Jesus “God.”
i. Peter had recognized him as the Messiah, the Son of God, the Son of Man, etc.
ii. But no one else had referred to Jesus as God until Thomas.
IV. Doubt Leads to Questions
a. When we have questions about our faith, we can trust God, take him at his Word, and read his Word.
b. God has spoken consistently to more than 40 different authors over about 1,500 years, compiling his story in the Old and New Testaments
c. The Holy Spirit has also guided theologians over the past 2,000 years in various commentaries.
V. Let Your Questions Lead You Closer to God
a. Carl Rogers, famous American psychologist was in seminary
i. Attended a seminar designed to explore religious doubts
ii. He later said, “The majority of members...in thinking their way through questions they had raised, thought themselves right out of religious work. I was one.”
b. Thomas, on the other hand, let his doubts lead him closer to God through his faith