December 30, 2009

The Gift of Doubt

John 20:24-31

“Unless I see the nail marks … and put my finger where the nails were … I will not believe.”
John 20:25


When I pick up my morning cup of coffee, I often chat for a moment with the cashier, who is skeptical about religion. He believes that science has refuted everything religion offers—and all that’s left are fairy tales. But one day he quieted his voice and told me his daughter wants to believe in God. But he doesn’t know how to talk to her about faith. He steadfastly held to his doubts—until his daughter’s questions left him wondering.

Thomas was concerned to have “just the facts.” The truth had to be right in front of him before he would believe. But let’s not be too hard on Thomas. In the face of tough times that were hard to understand, many of us might have acted the same way.

Thomas hadn’t been with the other disciples when they first saw the risen Jesus. But eventually Thomas saw him too. Without rattling the doors or floating through the windows, Jesus came into the room, stood among them all, and said, “Peace be with you!”

Then Jesus invited Thomas to touch his scars so that he could see Jesus was real. “Stop doubting and believe” was the wake-up call for Thomas to move along to truth. Jesus was indeed risen in the flesh, and we who believe it with eyes of faith today are blessed beyond what we can imagine. The Lord is risen! Thomas’s doubting helps us to believe in the Lord who is fully alive.

Jesus, fill my doubting heart with faith that dares to believe in you. Help me to truly see you with eyes of faith, and to live the full life of faith for your sake. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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