Finding Jesus: A Five Day Devotional

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Believing Thomas

We all know who “Doubting Thomas” was, and when you read the story, it’s easy to see why—doubting is one of the only things that we see Thomas ever do! But it seems unfair to leave Thomas stuck with that name forever. After all, the text ends with him believing--not doubting.

Thomas wasn’t in the Upper Room when Jesus first appeared after his resurrection. The text gives no clues where he was; but not only was Thomas not there, he was alone. 

When our faith is pierced, it’s common for us to withdraw.  Often sin, pain, and failure isolate us, driving us away from God and from others - just like Thomas. 

Thomas’ one anchor: his friends.  His fellow disciples were more than traveling companions– they were brothers.  Thomas’ doubts might have been suffocating, but whatever made him stray, Thomas knew he would be welcomed back.  The other disciples didn’t consider themselves any better than Thomas for wandering off for a while.  They were journeying life together.

This brings up an important question for believers—how willing are we to permit doubt into our midst? Are you the kind of person that makes room for the doubter?  For the struggling sinner?  Thomas makes it clear he’s doubting the testimony of his friends, but he is still welcomed with open arms. Perhaps this is why Thomas returned.

When Jesus reappears, he does not condemn Thomas for his doubts. In fact, Thomas was utterly transformed by this encounter!  Christian tradition tells us Thomas eventually traveled to India, the furthest known destination of any of the twelve apostles.  Once there, he started a number of churches in Southeast India – churches that, incredibly, still speak Aramaic as part of their liturgy even today. 

There’s nothing wrong with experiencing doubt.  It’s going to happen!  Remember that doubt is the other side of the coin of faith, like exhilaration is the partner to fear.  But Thomas’ story helps us see that we desperately need fellow believers close to us for the journey. And as we travel together, we must remember our own struggles and making room for others who are wrestling and hurting. Jesus does not shun us for our doubts, but neither does he expect us to hold onto them. Instead, he invites us to let them go so that we might reach out and embrace him fully.