Doubting Thomas

Doubting Thomas

Our own Type & Shadow…

April 23rd, 2019

He gets a bad rap for serious doubts about the risen Christ, but who was Thomas and what lessons can we take for ourselves from his doubt?

Scripture doesn’t give a lot of information regarding Thomas, but what it does seems to indicate that he was the one who had a tendency to ask the question that was resting on the mind of everyone else in the room.

Church history and lore indicates that after the imparting of the Holy Spirit that Thomas took Jesus charge of the Great Commission seriously, as it is believed that he traveled outside the Roman Empire to as far as India to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (HCSB)

In an ironic twist it’s understood that Thomas, who insisted that he would not believe until he saw the wounds of the nails and spear upon the resurrected savior, apparently departed from this world as the result a mortal wound from a spear.

The portion of the gospels that marks him as ‘Doubting Thomas’ can be found in John.

So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!”

John 20:25 (HCSB)

The thing is, the others were not so different from Thomas. He is recorded as verbalizing his doubt, but if you pay close attention to what the other apostles were telling him, they too were not convinced until they saw the risen Christ.

So, while they are not recorded as saying anything similar to what Thomas declared, it was the demonstration of the Living Savior that sealed the deal for each and every one of them.

the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!

There are many ‘types and shadows’ in the scripture that point to the coming Messiah. I’ve concluded that there is nothing in the scripture that isn’t there for a purpose. With this in mind, I consider Thomas as a type and shadow of us.

Thomas was one of the chosen, no different from Peter, Paul, and John. But in the case of Thomas, we can see where it takes a transformative realization of Jesus before we can transition from having His residence in us be realized as taking control of the rest of us and come to an earnest fellowship with the Living Christ.

Our small group on discipleship met last night, and we discussed this in some length. In each of our walk with Jesus there came a point when a simple belief and acceptance of the role of Jesus in our salvation was transformed into a deeper abiding desire to live a life dedicated to Him. Once that point was crossed there is no turning back.

Paul had his encounter on the road to Damascus, with the risen Christ, but it wasn’t until his vision was restored and the Holy Spirit was imparted to him he became the transformed missionary apostle and prolific writer of most text in the new testament.

Each one of the apostles had a heart belief abiding in them but once they realized the risen savior and the Holy Spirit took control of their lives, they became an effective instrument of the Gospel.

Thomas was no different, though he is labeled as the one who doubted.

Today, “Thoma” remains a popular common name in India because of the mark of Thomas in the region. Likewise, the marks of Jesus left a lasting impression on Thomas, motivating him to do as he was instructed right along with us, to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations”.

Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 2:2-3 (HCSB)

We all start out as newborns when receiving the grace of Jesus. But there needs to come a point in our walk with Jesus where we encounter the Living Christ and come to a more complete realization of who Jesus is and how his grace extended to us must profoundly alter our lives.

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife, among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?

1 Corinthians 3:2-3 (HCSB)

Paul speaking to the believers in Corinth pointed out the fact they were not ready for the meat of the Word and satisfied with the milk intended for infants in Christ.

Many of us stand with the Corinthians, and are not ready for solid spiritual food yet, not yet realizing the risen Christ living in them. The same encounter Thomas had and every one of the other apostles did.

It is time for every believer to grow from a diet of milk to solid foods so they can grow and mature in Jesus. Realizing the risen Christ living in them and being obedient to Him as a natural outgrowth of the love and devotion established in our hearts.

We all follow the same model of “Doubting Thomas”,  we need the living demonstration of Christ active in our lives. If we haven’t experienced that we need to delve into the Word of God and pray that Jesus reveal himself to us. If we’ve had that revelation, we need to be about the business He calls us to. For He said…

“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.”

John 14:15 (HCSB)

When we do, we will demonstrate the evidence of a life that has had a face to face encounter with our risen Lord!

In the Grace of Jesus!

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