Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Faith is a choice! To have faith, to walk in faith, to believe by faith, is a choice that YOU and you alone make.
Thomas was a prime example of one who made his own choice. He was one of the twelve disciples who had walked and talked with Christ. One who had seen numerous miraculous signs occur merely by Christs’ spoken word and yet refused to believe that the resurrection of Christ had occurred. Boldly he stated, that without first having a concrete direct personal experience, he could not believe by faith alone. Thomas stated that he needed to see and feel the wounds Christ received upon the cross, to believe, to have faith that He was Christ risen from the dead.
In Thomas’s case we do not know exactly why he could not or did not just believe, by faith. Was he so full of fear of what could possibly happen to him now, when the authorities gained knowledge that he was one of Christs’ twelve disciples? Then what would they do to him? After all, the Romans were afraid of a rebellion, they suspected Christ of treason, the temple authorities accused his beloved Christ of blasphemy, so they executed him, hanging him upon a cross. This was after the Roman soldiers for hours inflicted severe physical punishment and humiliation upon his most precious Christ, and Thomas could do nothing to prevent it.
Or was he so traumatized by what he saw the Roman soldiers do to Christ, before and upon the cross, that somewhere within himself, he was shattered. Perhaps he did not know (yet) within his own mind, how and what he was to do without Christ before him? What were they all to do? Where were they to go?
I believe that Thomas was suffering at the loss of his beloved Christ. I believe he was completely incapable of comprehending what the Roman soldiers, the authorities had done to Christ. I believe he was afraid to believe, to have hope, faith. He was in mourning. Grieving the death of Christ, his friend, his mentor, his teacher. Within his grieving, all of whom Thomas was, longed for Jesus. I believe Thomas questioned what the other apostles said, because right then, at that very point within that time of such unrest, he believed he could not believe.
I sensed Thomas struggled within himself. For he knew what he saw with his own eyes. He saw Jesus his Lord, hang upon the cross. He saw the Roman soldiers betting for his teacher’s garments. He saw the tears of Jesus Mother Mary fall, as she watched her son being nailed to the cross. He saw Christs’ body, the body of his friend laid within the tomb. Thomas knew what he had seen, and his heart was broken.
Although Jesus did say within the scriptures to Thomas “Blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed.” (John 20:29 NKJV), I do not believe Jesus was telling Thomas that he lacked in believing in Christ. That Thomas no longer maintained complete trust, hope, and confidence in Christ. In fact, I believe just the opposite.
I believe Thomas was being extremely honest in his request before Christ. He knew what he needed from his relationship with Christ. Thomas knew his pain, his grieving was so intense, that he needed a personal encounter with Christ. He was reaching out to the Lord. Telling Him that at this terrible time, he needed Him more than ever. He needed Christ’s guidance to help him remain faithful, to believe. He is asking for Christs help, because at that moment right there, right then, his longing (which many call doubt) is not doubt at all, but faith. He never once said within his struggles that he did not believe in the existence of Christ. What he did say was, “I cannot, therefore Lord please help me.” Again, I believe Thomas was saying Lord, alone I am not enough. I cannot do this on my own but with you I can, and I will. I believe Thomas knew more than what we give him credit for. He had a sense of knowing we were never meant to do or be, alone.
I do believe we all are “a type” of Thomas. Whether we call out to Christ from desperation or desire, there is something that rises within each one of us as we seek His presence, His comfort, His forgiveness, His help, that causes us to believe, to have faith, that Christ will and is there. Whether one has a spiritual awakening or walks within a valley of hopelessness, a stirring occurs that is uniquely specific to ones’ self, that beckons us to believe.