The Thomas Doubt Affair: Day Six
“Thomas, The Skeptic for Our Time”
Friday Jerusalem circa 30 AD
It is the 6th day since the resurrection non-appearance for the disciple Thomas, the only one to miss encountering the risen from the dead Saviour Jesus.
How do you stand stalwartly against your closest friends and tell them they are all wrong… that they didn’t see what they say they saw? How do you stick around with them and not have some touchy encounters? Or for that matter full-blown angry exchanges?
Thomas the skeptic… he’s the pain in the butt friend that doesn’t believe anything without a dozen fact check sites reviewed. He’s got the latest scientific findings on how Adam and Eve couldn’t have existed along the Tigris and Euphrates. He’s got the latest reported Bible contradiction, hot off the presses.
When he gets saved he still asks the hard questions but you know it wasn’t the road of blind faith that he took. In fact you look to him when someone asks you the tough questions about the Shroud of Turin, or how the latest militant atheist attack holds no water or how to deal with the latest scientific discovery that somehow shows that Jesus was really married or how one should reply to the newest theological theory of how Jesus body was buried in a heap and the dogs ravaged the grave. The 21st Century is a tough time to be a Christian (not that it wasn’t before).
That’s why Doubting Thomas and his stubborn skepticism concerning the resurrection should be a comfort and an encouragement to us post-modern 21st Century folks. He asks the tough questions and takes nothing for granted.
The caricature of the 1st Century disciple can be none too pretty. Often viewed as uneducated, superstitious, unscientific, not writing vital information down while relying on verbal tradition, the 1st Century disciple’s testimony can be portrayed as unreliable, gullible, even Neanderthal and decidedly inaccurate.
Into that dingy unflattering portrait steps Thomas (aka Didymus). He holds back his patented sarcasm and takes a moment to ask for real evidence. He refuses easy believism. There is possibly a little bitterness in his refusal to accept the report as true. This is human nature. Arrogance, pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, deception, anger and fear serve to block us from accepting what deep down inside we know is true.
“But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” John 20:25
So Thomas standing in as a proxy for the 21st Century person whether skeptic, seeker or saved poses the criteria for his belief. Though we will not be able to see the physical marks of the nails and put our fingers into the resurrected Christ’s side there is one who has, who has done it as the skeptic, as the doubter and we can be assured in the truth of what Thomas will soon declare…
“My Lord and my God!” John 20:28
Thank you, Thomas, the skeptic for our time!
(This is part 2 of The Thomas Doubt Affair , a forerunner of a longer piece in 10 parts which is in the works) COMMENTS WELCOME!