and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.”

John 10:41 (NIV)

There were many people in the time of Jesus who didn’t believe that He was the Son of God. Jesus healed many people of everything afflicting them as well as raising people from the dead and casting out demons. He also performed miracles of multiplication, such as when He fed the 5,000 and the 4,000. He also transformed water into wine through His divine power. Yet, despite everything that Jesus did so few people were counted as believers after He was glorified. About 120 (Acts 1:15). What I wonder about today is whether or not signs and wonders would be any more useful today in bringing people to a state of belief than they were before Jesus was glorified.

Although I don’t like to pick on the apostle Thomas, I do believe that he is a good example for us today because of the time that he spent with Jesus. Thomas says three things in the Bible although most people will only remember him for questioning Jesus’ resurrection. What I want to do is examine what Thomas said to determine more of his character before the event that has labeled him a doubter.

The Gospel of John is the only Gospel that tells of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. In John we know that the disciples were concerned about Jesus returning to Judea to heal Lazarus, “’But Rabbi,’” they said, “’a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?’” (John 11:8 NIV) When Jesus tells his disciples that He has to go and raise Lazarus, Thomas’ response is “’Let us also go, that we may die with him’” (John 11:16 NIV). While this may not be the most upbeat and positive thing to say it does show us that Thomas was ready to go where Jesus went and to die with him if need be. This sentiment echoes that of the other disciples who also proclaimed, with Peter, that they would die for Jesus, when He predicted Peter’s denial of Him (Matthew 26:35). It’s important that we realize Thomas’ statement wasn’t that of a defeated man without hope but that of a loyal follower of Jesus.

When Jesus is telling the disciples, in John, that He’s going away to a place that God has prepared for Him and that He will also prepare a place for us, Thomas asks Him, “’Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?'” (John 14:1-5 NIV). I believe that here too, we see Thomas echoing something that the other disciples may have been thinking. We all know that often when one person asks a question that others have the same question but don’t ask. I see Thomas as an honest man who said what was on his mind.

The last, and perhaps most infamous, thing that Thomas says is to the other disciples who told him that Jesus was alive, “’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’” (John 20:25 NIV). What we need to realize here is that Thomas didn’t say anything that the other disciples hadn’t thought of themselves. Luke shows us that the disciples still didn’t believe that Jesus was risen and standing before them alive and not a ghost. “‘Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have’” (Luke 24:39 NIV). Jesus’ invitation to “touch me and see” isn’t any different than Thomas’ declaration that he needed to see Jesus and touch him to believe. If anything, Thomas’ declaration shows us that, perhaps, he might have believed more than the others because we know from Luke that, despite having touched Jesus, the disciples needed to see him eat something to prove that He was there and not His ghost (Luke 24:40-43).

When I examine Thomas I don’t see someone who was any different in his thoughts and beliefs than the other disciples who followed Jesus. I think that Thomas has gotten a bum rap through the ages and his moniker of “Doubting Thomas” is undeserved. What then are we to learn from Thomas and the other disciples?

As much as I would like to see the world believe in God and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the salvation that He brings to us all, I think that it won’t happen through signs and wonders as we might think of them. The miracles and wonders that will help bring people to salvation through Christ are those that are found in each one of us who believe. When the Spirit of God changes our hearts and our minds from who we once were to who we are now, alive in Christ, this miracle can be seen to those who knew us before we were in Christ and who can see the transformation in us now. However, it’s imperative to the salvation of all those who are lost in the world that we who believe tell others of what God has done in our lives.

How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them?

Romans 10:14 (CEV)

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.