People who know the truth get defensive and sometimes ugly when others question them. And I mean, you know absolutely for sure that what you believe is unquestionably a fact. When others disagree, it’s difficult.
But we can even get defensive and ugly when others question our opinions or preferences. “What?! Get outta here! You drink decaf coffee?! I’m unfriending you!”
The disciple of Jesus tagged with the nickname “Doubting Thomas” questioned Jesus himself. Jesus is the ultimate truth. He is the absolute authority. And Thomas suggested that Jesus was wrong. He wouldn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead, as Jesus had promised he would.
Yet Jesus responds to Thomas with such forgiveness, mercy and patience. Because one of the many truths that Jesus embodies is grace. He doesn’t get defensive or ugly with Thomas.
“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’” (John 20:26,27).
Jesus comes in peace, and in case the other disciples are getting ugly with Thomas he commands peace among them all, creating a safe place for Thomas to truly believe.
Then, Jesus could have resisted Thomas’ earlier demands and told him, “There’s no way I’m appearing to you now, you doubter. You’ll either have to trust me or leave.” No, just as patient and compassionate as ever, Jesus invites a doubter to come close to him. A doubter!
He doesn’t demand that Thomas get his facts straight first, or write on a piece of paper one thousand times, “I will never question Jesus again. Ever.”
Jesus responds to your doubts and defensiveness with forgiving grace, mercy and patience. He comes in peace, and will create a safe place for your faith. He invites you and all your doubts to come close to him.
Then you will find the truth in his saving love that forgives, his living resurrection that gives you new life, his touch of power that gives you confidence and courage for his kingdom.
In the future, as you more firmly trust in Jesus as your Lord and God, you will fulfill Jesus’ final words to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
No extra evidence needed. No safety measures. No Plan B just in case Jesus can’t keep his word.
Believe in Jesus and be blessed.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, what amazes me about your resurrection is not just where you weren’t (in the tomb) but where you were (with your disciples). They had doubted and became locked in fear. As you came to them in peace, come to me today in my doubts and fears and bring your living, loving peace. I want to believe in you more clearly and confidently! Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: This past Sunday I preached about the do’s and don’ts of dealing with doubt, and explained 4 types of doubt. You’ll find fill-in notes, discussion questions, and the video at https://crosslifepf.org/messages/the-dos-and-donts-of-doubt/.