Posts Tagged ‘Thomas’

The first step is belief. “I believe you; I believe what you are saying; I believe YOU are speaking truth.” But the next step is critical, when the listener moves belief into the realm of faith. Here is where the content has meaning for the listener. And here belief can grow.

Hebrews 4:2
For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.

Life in the Spirit is cyclical. With this scripture, I understand it even more than before. Belief prepares the ground of my heart to have faith, that confidence in things not seen or proven. And when faith expands, then I am able to understand more of the “message.” I understand more about the messenger.

As soon as I give room to doubt, the process slows down. It still works, but more methodically. The doubter is looking for more to believe, more information, more facts, more stories, more exposure. And when all goes well, the tipping point is reached and the process begins again.

“Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” [John 20:27]

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John 21:2
There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, called the Twin, and Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, also the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples.

Two “other” disciples: who were they? Were these two who had joined the disciples just recently? Were they hanging out because of the witness of Thomas, let’s say? There are few clues. In any case, they are unnamed. Why? There are a few other examples in scripture where followers are numbered in some way but unnamed.

This is where my imagination really kicks in. Somehow there is significance in these two guys, apparently fishermen (since they all go out to fish with Peter), being present at Jesus’s appearance. And although the emphasis in this last chapter of John is on Peter and his mission for Christ, these two unnamed guys were there for a reason.

In the same way that Thomas needed Jesus to solidify his faith in Jesus’s second appearance, I think these guys needed something similar. In fact, I believe God uses time and place so economically that each one of the disciples that day had a particular need to see Jesus face to face. Only Peter’s conversation is recorded, but I’m sure each disciple had a conversation around that campfire and over the meal.

This was a time of confirmation.

We all need confirmation at one time or another. Did I really hear correctly? Is this really what I should be doing? Am I choosing the right way? Is this my time?

Jesus had breakfast with 7 guys to confirm their faith and their missions. Each one was sent forth. Outside of Peter and the sons of Zebedee, these other disciples played fairly small roles in the overall story. And yet, here they are in the third sighting of Jesus after the resurrection.

If Jesus would do this for them, then he’ll do the same for me. And so I ask, confirm the stirrings of my heart this day, Lord. Give me courage and fortitude. Give me confidence and curiosity. Amen.

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