“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen me but still have believed.’ ” (John 20:29, NIV)
Perhaps the best-known skeptic in the New Testament is the apostle Thomas. Some people call him Doubting Thomas because he doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead; Thomas was also honest, courageous, and devoted to Christ (John 11:1-16). His words of doubt are recorded in Scripture for a purpose, and we can learn from them.
After His resurrection, Jesus came to His disciples, but Thomas was not present. The disciples told him they had seen the risen Christ, but he refused to believe.
“So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘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, NIV)
A week later Jesus came to His disciples again, and this time Thomas was with them. Jesus knew what he had said and addressed his doubt:
“Then he 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, NIV)
With the help of Christ, Thomas made a declaration of faith (John 20:28). Jesus told him to stop doubting and believe, but He was not angry with him. Instead, He met Thomas at the point of his struggle and led him to faith. If our faith is shaken, Jesus extends to us the same love and mercy He gave to Thomas. Jesus walked on this earth, and He understands our struggles and sympathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). Even in the midst of doubt, our Savior is faithful.
Father, thank You for not giving up on us when our faith is shaken or weak. Thank You for Your steadfast love and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.