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Article by Ken Webb
Thomas was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and is often referred to as “Doubting Thomas” due to his initial skepticism about Jesus’ resurrection. In this passage, we see Thomas expressing doubt and insisting on physical proof before he will believe that Jesus has truly risen from the dead. However, when Jesus appears to him and offers him the chance to see and touch his wounds, Thomas responds with a powerful confession of faith, declaring Jesus to be his Lord and God.
John 20:24-31 in the ESV translation reads as follows:
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The Greek word for “believe” in this passage is πιστεύω (pisteuō), which carries a sense of trust and reliance on someone or something. It is often used in the New Testament to describe a deep, unwavering faith in God and in the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. In this passage, Jesus challenges Thomas to move beyond his doubts and put his trust in him, urging him to have faith and believe in the reality of his resurrection.
Thomas’s doubts were not “silent,” as he openly expressed them to his fellow disciples. And in the end, his doubts were resolved when Jesus appeared to him and invited him to touch his wounds, saying, “Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20:27).
This story highlights the importance of being open and honest about our doubts and questions, even when they may seem uncomfortable or unpopular. By expressing our doubts, we create an opportunity for dialogue and exploration, which can ultimately lead to greater understanding and growth.
However, if we keep our doubts to ourselves and refuse to engage with them, we may miss out on the opportunity to find answers and experience greater clarity and peace of mind. Thus, the quote “Silent doubts rarely find answers” reminds us of the importance of being open and honest about our doubts, and seeking answers through dialogue and exploration.
Overall, this passage provides a powerful testimony to the transformative power of faith in Jesus Christ, and the importance of trusting in him even in the face of doubt and uncertainty.