Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Walking with God – Day 2

Walking with God – the importance of honesty: Thomas

Bible text(s)

29Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

John 20:29GNBOpen in Bible reader

The expression “a doubting Thomas” is not usually limited to Christian circles. If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that there are many times in our own lives that this title could have applied to us. In any relationship, but especially in our relationship with God, honesty is of utmost importance, as this value builds trust and breaks down barriers, which clearly yields great rewards. However, when we are dishonest, even with ourselves, we stunt our personal growth and our progress in life.

In spite of our current engagement with cyber space, where people benefit tangibly from what they cannot see, there are currently many people who find difficulty in engaging the same principle for faith, which yields far greater benefits and which enables us to be “certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Believers may, at times, be sceptical about aspects of their faith, even if not about faith in Christ Jesus himself and, like Thomas, don’t readily believe His claims, but lack Thomas’ honesty in admitting it and so flounder.

“Doubting Thomas” was, ironically, a fervently loyal disciple of Jesus. When Jesus wanted to go to Judea after Lazarus had died, and his disciples opposed his going for fear of him being stoned, it was Thomas who had made a stand and responded boldly with, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). He was also the one who, when Jesus told them that he was going to his Father, bluntly blurted out, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”(John 14:5). In our confused world, we still benefit from Jesus’ answer to this question today. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to God.

Only Thomas had not been with the other disciples when Jesus, after he had been crucified, appeared to them in his risen body, and Thomas demanded to see proof before he would believe in his (Jesus’) resurrection.

This unbelief may sound shocking to us, but his honesty brought the light into his darkness. Even today, his refusal to pretend brings encouragement and a solution to those who struggle with unbelief, for we see how graciously Jesus deals with Thomas. Honesty in admitting this failing led to Jesus coming to Thomas to dispel his doubt and turn it into joyful faith, as he became the first disciple to proclaim Jesus as LORD. “Then (Jesus) said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:27-28)

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