Talk about a time when your life felt disrupted
Thomas is the voice in the middle of the chaos monkey.
He voices his doubt bringing attention to what is most important. He is very interested in belief. He even wants to believe. But he cannot until He puts his hands in the wounds of Jesus.
That’s why we are going to look at Thomas. He is the patron saint of post pandemic living. He asks, I want to believe, show me something that is worth believing. Show me what is real.
His Doubt was an invitation to life-giving faith in Christ
doubt is a part of life and the Christian experience
John 20:24–25 ESV
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
› We are all Thomas now. And that is great news because Christ responds directly to Thomas. God is not put off by our doubts in fact He seems to draw near in them.
we are skeptical because we can find answers quickly .
We are all Thomas.
› Doubt is a part of belief. You can’t doubt something if you don’t already have a modicum of belief.
• Where else do we see doubt held out in the Scriptures (think: Job or the psalms)?
Even doubting is faith; even temptation is belief; you cannot entirely remove belief in a secular age. Belief is native to our thinking and actions. It is not if you believe it is what you believe. – Charles Taylor. A Secular Age.
If you are able, take some time to share a doubt you have in your group
Doubt helps us to understand where attention is needed. It reveals our desire.
• Thomas was not going to be satisfied until he looked Jesus in the face and placed his finger into the mark of his nails and his hands into his side. That is his condition for belief.
› Doubt can show us what truly and really matters in life.
• We have treated doubt like it is the opposite of faith. But that is not the case. The opposite of faith is unbelief. It is a lack of belief. Doubt requires you to have faith. To hang onto a belief.
• Doubt brings the reality of our belief to the surface. It puts it right in front of us. We could even say that doubt is the place where belief becomes more tangible.
So before you bounce on the existence of God or your friendships, recognize that those are areas worth paying attention to.
How do you see Thomas as an example of solid Christian Faith?
It was at the moment of Thomas’s greatest doubt that we see the greatest invitation he will ever receive
› Doubt brought Thomas face to face with Christ.
› Then, in the most incredible part of the narrative. He approaches Thomas. And He directly answers him. He tells him to put his finger in his hands and hand in his side. And in so doing invited him to believe.
• I want to show you a quote by one of my favorite philosophers and theologians, Soren Kierkegaard.
Truly, no more than God allows a species of fish to come into existence in a particular lake unless the plant that is its nourishment is also growing there, no more will God allow the truly concerned person to be ignorant of what he is to believe. That is, the need brings its nourishment along with it…The need brings the nourishment along with it, not by itself … but by virtue of a divine commandment that joins the two, the need and the nourishment. (Kierkegaard, Soren. *Christian Discourses.*Pg 244-45).
• How has doubt in your life been an invitation to believe and trust Christ?