Doubting Thomas – John 20:24-29
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 31, 2013
I was wondering what you thought about doubt. You know what I mean do you doubt yourself. Perhaps as you head to the finals of your education, you doubt the outcome. Maybe it is the future you have serious doubts about or a significant other. Perhaps, in your darkest moments, you have even doubted him who died for you. While we can be doubting Thomases at different times in our life, we should not live our lives in such suspicion. The one who made us has a plan for our lives. And, in that plan, he will never leave us nor forsake us. Cast you doubts aside because he cares for you. If you doubt what I am saying, try it and you will discover your uncertainties vanish.
Many of us are familiar with the story of Thomas and this morning we will return to the theme that we have been presented. It is an extremely important message for our day and age as well. The tomb is empty, some have seen the risen Lord, and some have had the experience of actually talking with Him. However, one doubts because he has not seen, heard, nor experienced the risen Lord himself. His name is Thomas. Let’s see if his doubts are the same as some of ours…
I. Thomas doubted himself! (John 20:24-25 NIV)
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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 it.” (John 20:24-25 NIV)
EXAMPLE: I had jumped off things before, the water never scared me, and my father was right there to catch me. Why could I not jump? I doubted myself. I doubted my ability to swim, to jump into the water, and for my father to catch me. That is kind of like many of us who struggle with our faith. We say we believe, we say we love Jesus, but we are afraid to jump into his arms — so we hesitate. We doubt ourselves. We need to trust in God.
II. Thomas doubted Jesus’ promise! (John 14:1-7 NIV)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:1-7 NIV)
EXAMPLE: Thomas forgot what Jesus had promised all along. That he would die and then rise again! Far too often, we come to Christ because we experience his love, his forgiveness, and we accept him there, and then the doubts begin to creep into our lives. Can the dead live? Is there truly eternal life for those who believe? We begin to doubt and ask, “Can I trust God with my life, love, and where I am headed?” The answer is, “YES!” Jesus had already promised Thomas — never doubt Jesus’ promise!
III. Jesus answered all of Thomas’ doubts! (Vv. 26-29)
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 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!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:26-29 NIV)
EXAMPLE: Russell Kelso Carter (1849-1928) was a star athlete of a military academy and an excellent student academically, who went on to be a successful teacher and coach. He then spent several years as an ordained Methodist minister, after which he went to medical school. He spent the last of his professional years as a doctor of medicine. Carter was also a musician and songwriter. Although Carter was a professed Christian most of his life, it wasn’t until a crisis with his natural heart that he began to understand the reality and power of Bible promises. At age 30, his health was in critical condition and the physicians could do no more for him. Carter turned to God for help and healing. He knelt and made a promise that healing or no, his life was finally and forever, fully consecrated to the service of the Lord. It was from that moment that the written Word of God became alive to Carter. He began to stand upon the promises of healing, determining to believe no matter what his physical condition, no matter how he felt. Over the course of the next several months, his strength returned, and his heart was completely healed! Carter lived another healthy 49 years. The hymn Carter had written several years before his healing miracle became more than words and music to him. Standing on the Promises became an integral part of his life: Standing on the Promises.
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
Jesus answers all of doubts!
Thomas doubted himself! Thomas doubted Jesus’ promise! Jesus answered all of Thomas’ doubts! On this Easter, let us remind ourselves of the promise of God, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” The tomb is empty, Jesus is at the right hand of God, and when we believe we are saved!
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 27 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2012 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.