“I Have Doubts”
Pastor Kris Freeman
April 23, 2017
Scripture: John 20:24-31 (NLT)
On Sunday evening after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples behind a locked door in an upper room (John 20:19). At least one of the remaining disciples was not there.
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Thomas – called Didymus (a name that means “twin” although his twin sibling is never identified) – is only mentioned once each in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John, we learn more about him.
Thomas was often a PESSIMIST although he is called DOUBTING THOMAS by tradition.
John 20:25 – “I won’t believe.” – Greek ou mē
The reason? He often had a very rough outlook of the circumstances of Jesus. All those times involved Jesus potentially being AWAY.
Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.” (John 11:16 NLT) – Thomas fears Jesus will be stoned if he goes back to Bethany with Lazarus. But he is willing to remain by his side.
All the disciples had doubt after the resurrection. Thomas gets a bad rap, but in truth he was very faithful and LOYAL.
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
What do we do when we have DOUBTS about the stories of the Bible?
- What story is the hardest for you to believe? ____________________
- What principle or teaching is the hardest for you to receive? ___________________
- How do you feel when you have trouble believing?
- Do you feel sinful when you do not believe?
- Do you feel God doesn’t love you when you do not believe?
- Do you feel REJECTED when you do not believe?
God still used Thomas in spite of his pessimism.
Tradition and history says Thomas may have carried the Gospel to southern India; where several churches were built in his honor and his tomb reportedly exists. He died a martyr, by a SPEAR in his SIDE.
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To be used by God, sometimes big QUESTIONS lead to GREAT FAITH.
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. (Hebrews 11:1-2 NLT)
Please don’t ignore God’s PEOPLE because you don’t fully understand God’s PLAN.
There were eight days between the resurrection and Jesus meeting Thomas. Where was he? What was he doing? Did he give up and run? Pout? Sulk? Was he searching for him (John 14:5 “we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way?). But at some point, Thomas returns to the FELLOWSHIP of his friends and then God’s plan is unveiled to him.
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.