Read: John 11:1–16
Bible in a Year: Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51–75
Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.—John 20:25
We know him as Doubting Thomas (see John 20:24-29), but the label isn’t entirely fair. After all, how many of us would have believed that our executed leader had been resurrected? We might just as well call him “Courageous Thomas.” After all, Thomas displayed impressive courage as Jesus moved purposefully into the events leading to His death.
At the death of Lazarus, Jesus had said, “Let us go back to Judea” (John 11:7), prompting a protest from the disciples. “Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” (v. 8). It was Thomas who said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (v. 16).
Thomas’s intentions proved nobler than his actions. Upon Jesus’s arrest, Thomas fled with the rest (Matt. 26:56), leaving Peter and John to accompany Christ to the courtyard of the high priest. Only John followed Jesus all the way to the cross.
Despite having witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:38-44), Thomas still could not bring himself to believe that the crucified Lord had conquered death. Not until Thomas the doubter—the human—saw the risen Lord, could he exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Jesus’s response gave assurance to the doubter and immeasurable comfort to us: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29). —Tim Gustafson
Father, teach us to act on what we do know about You and Your goodness, and trust You in faith for what we don’t know.
Real doubt searches for the light; unbelief is content with the darkness.