Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

The courage of Thomas

''And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.''

John 14:3-6
 

As a Christian, to be critical, is not fundamentally incorrect or wrong. To get to know things, and question said things and to openly acknowledge when one doesn't understand, requires courage and character. Often one encounters exactly the opposite. Namely, that the doubt and ignorance is concealed, so as not to lose face in front of others. One is afraid of being ridiculed or despised when one openly says that which others think, but lack courage to speak out. The disciple Thomas was courageous – he said what he thought and was not afraid to speak his mind and openly ask questions. He wanted to know everything precisely. He was anything but a mere bystander or a shallow person. Jesus often spoke in parables (Matthew 13:10-14) and His messages were mostly not immediately understood. Not even for his disciples. But, they needed to understand the spiritual potential of Jesus' words – if not straight away – it is the same for us today. The specific questions and honesty of Thomas, caused Jesus to give specific and awesome statements which we are able to relate to today: “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE...” (John 14:6). It does not get more specific! Jesus accommodated Thomas, because He recognized his believing heart. When someone is critical and does not immediately start doing somersaults and clapping hands when someone else says something important, it does not necessarily mean that they don't believe it, are not interested, or don't understand it.

Often it is the case that a person who was critical to start with, who could speak his doubts, ended up pursuing his convictions with much more passion and zeal, than someone who merely absorbs everything without question and many times remains superficial or is never fully saturated with the liberating truth. One can't actually speak of a “doubting Thomas” in this context. That would do him an injustice. There should be more believers like the disciple Thomas. Especially today, when many have become superficial and critical. His hesitant, yet believing heart, opened his eyes to who Jesus was: We read in John 20:26-29 “And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ''Peace be unto you.'' Then saith He to Thomas, ''Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.'' And Thomas answered and said unto Him, my Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, ''Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.'' I think many of the other disciples benefited greatly from Thomas' attitude. We don't read about any criticism towards him in the Bible. Do we also have courage to fill gaps and do we trust ourselves to question so that our faith can ultimately gain weight and depth - Glory to God!

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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Zur deutschen Originalversion: Der Mut des Thomas


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