ODJ: The Sceptic

March 13, 2017 

READ: John 20:24-29 

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (v.28).

Not long after the fall of the Iron Curtain, I travelled to Ukraine with a Christian ministry. One evening, I met with two college students who peppered me with questions about faith and God. I was struck by their open and earnest searching, because they had lived for years under a communist regime in which God and religion were outlawed. They weren’t looking for easy answers, but simply wanted to figure out what they believed.

It’s likely this encounter has stuck with me because I often operate the opposite way—with a sceptical rather than seeking posture. I can be overly cautious, slow to commit and prone to poke holes in a belief wherever I possibly can.

Perhaps Thomas was somewhat similar. After Jesus’ resurrection, the Saviour met with His disciples, but Thomas wasn’t there. When the disciples excitedly told the sceptical disciple about their encounter, Thomas dismissed the story. “I won’t believe it,” he insisted, “unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side” (John 20:25).

It’s unfortunate we’ve saddled the disciple with the name “Doubting Thomas”, because apparently Jesus wasn’t very bothered by Thomas’ suspicion. Jesus came to him, offering His wounds for him to investigate. Face to face with his friend and teacher, the sceptic fell to his knees. “My Lord and my God!” he exclaimed (v.28).

Perhaps it would have been better if Thomas had been able to take his friends’ words without requiring evidence, but I’m struck by Jesus’ kindness. He came to Thomas, loving him even in his doubt. None of us has to leap very far to find ourselves in Jesus’ open arms. We have only to say yes to the love He offers to us.

—Winn Collier

365-day plan: Judges 16:1-21

Read Jude 1:22 and consider the mercy God has shown to you even when doubt has caused your faith to waver. 
What doubt about God is most persistent in your thoughts? How do you respond to it, and how do you think Jesus responds to you and your doubting ways?