Regarding faith, some people require 100% certainty. Others ask for blind faith. Still, some, if not many, say, you should have a reasonable faith. What is the foundation for a reasonable faith?
Let’s look at the famous Doubting Thomas.
John 20:24-29, 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.”
This is the famous passage where Thomas earned the nickname “Doubting Thomas.” But I don’t think this is fair. Yes, he wanted evidence that Jesus Physically rose from the dead. Wouldn’t you? I would.
But consider James, the half brother of Jesus. He didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah until after He saw a risen Jesus. Consider Paul the persecutor of the church. He went from persecutor to church planter because he saw a risen Jesus. So, Thomas may have doubted, but so did Paul and James. All the apostles doubted. When Jesus was arrested before his death, they scattered and felt defeated.
Christianity isn’t supposed to be a blind faith. Nor can it be demanded to have 100% certainty. Instead, we should look at the evidence for and against the claims of Christ and the Bible as a whole. This way, we can allow our doubts to strengthen our faith. The result is a reasonable and reliable faith.
Reflect: John 11:1-16. What is the point of Jesus’ story in v. 9-10? What does this passage teach us about Thomas’ conviction regarding Jesus (v. 16)?
Respond: How would you rank your faith? Blind? Doubting? Reasonable? Something else? How can you strengthen your faith through doubt?