June 28, 2015
Message, Robby Gallaty, Senior Pastor
The title of the message today is “Seeking Is Believing.” Seeking is believing.
Many Christians have wrestled with doubt at one time or another in their life, Amen? We have all asked ourselves the questions, is Christianity real? Are the claims of Christ accurate? Did the Messiah really rise from the dead? I mean, can we trust the Bible? And I would submit to you on the other side of the spectrum that agnostics and atheists have doubts about their lack of faith because they ask themselves these questions, is there really a God? Am I going to have to give an account for every deed, every motive, every action that I ever committed? Is hell a real place with a real fire and real pain?
We have all wrestled with doubt at one time or another in our life. Now for some people, the doubt has dissipated, but for others, it remains a present reality in our lives.
You know, as I think about atheists and agnostics, one of the things I realized is that it probably, if you would agree with me, takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a believer because everywhere you look, you see the fingerprints and the handiwork of God, right? It is hard to deny that there is a Creator in this world.
One of the things you will see today as we study the Word of God is, it is okay to doubt. It is okay to question things about God as long as you don’t stay there. You see, doubt that leads to unbelief is not the same as doubt that fortifies one’s faith. And we will meet a man today who honestly, for 2000 years, has gotten a bad rap. His name is Thomas and he is affectionately known as The Doubter, but as you will see today, this man is not a cynic or even a skeptic. This man is a seeking believer. And I want to show you today from Thomas’ testimony, that it is the testimony that all of us need to have about Jesus. You see, he realizes that Jesus is both his God and his Lord, so that you and I would fearlessly and courageously serve Him. And if you are an unbeliever in here today and you haven’t put your faith in Christ, I pray that something that is said or something that was sung would bring you closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you have your Bibles and I hope you do, turn with me to John Chapter 20. John Chapter 20 Verse 24 and following is what we will consider. And when you get there, say “Word,” the Word of the Lord.
“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.’ 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.’ 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.’ Thomas answered Him, ‘My Lord and My God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
Let me give you a little background on what has happened up to this point because what you are going to see in the text in just a moment is that Thomas feels like he has missed an opportunity. And so if you are taking notes today, write down the first truth in this text and that is: Thomas thinks he has missed an opportunity.
Up to this point, Jesus Christ has been betrayed by Judas. He has been shackled and brought to a court and tried for a crime that He didn’t commit. He was crucified on a cross. Joseph of Arimathea who was a rich, wealthy man in the First Century, he was a follower of Jesus, along with Nicodemus takes Jesus’ body down and puts it in a grave. They roll a stone in front to protect Jesus and then…or actually it doesn’t protect Jesus, but they roll a stone in front in their mind thinking that. And then they leave.
On the third day, the first day of the week, on Sunday, Mary Magdalene comes back and as she comes back, she notices the stone has been rolled away from the tomb. She runs back and tells Peter and John, who then follow her back to the tomb. The two disciples peer into the tomb and realize that not only is the tomb rolled away, but the body is gone. And so they run back questioning what is going on here. And so they go back and tell the disciples.
In the meantime, Mary Magdalene is kind of wandering around the tomb site and she runs into a man whom she thinks is tending the petunias, which Jesus she mistakes as the gardener. I don’t know if he is tending the petunias or not, but He is there in the garden. She thinks He is the gardener and so she talks to Jesus and she realizes that He is the risen Christ. And so she goes back, on the instruction of Jesus, to tell Peter and the disciples that she has seen Jesus.
Just another sidebar. Another indication that the Bible is true is the fact that Jesus’ first appearance in the resurrected form is to a woman. Now, no offense to women, but you have to understand, in the First Century women were overlooked and looked over. Women could not testify in a court of law. And yet Jesus Christ Himself…and the most unlikely of all women, Mary Magdalene, the one who had seven demonic oppressive spirits who was cast out of her moments before. Jesus appears to this woman and she is the first witness to the risen Christ. Just an interesting sidebar.
So she goes back and tells the disciples. Then Jesus appears to the two walking on the road to Emmaus. Now I believe it is a husband and wife going back to their home.
The third encounter is to the disciples in the Upper Room, or this safe house, if you will. They are huddled up in fear and Jesus appears to them.
Turn with me to John Chapter 20 and go back up to Verse 19 and I want you to see what happens at that encounter. “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.’”
Now apparently, all are there or most of the disciples are there except for one. Do you know who is not at this gathering with Jesus? It is Thomas. Now we don’t know why Thomas is not there and I will give you some reasons or ideas I have as to why he is not there. But one of the things Thomas does is, he misses Jesus in the resurrected body.
Now you have to admit with me or to me that if someone tells you that they are going to die and rise from the dead on the third day is one thing. If other people that you know, friends of yours, come and testify that they have met a man who actually rose from the dead, it is another thing. But it is a whole different thing when you get to see that person yourself with your own eyes, rise from the dead. It would be the equivalent of you going to a funeral, giving your condolences at the casket, traveling to the grave side, having those last prayers on the body…over the body, and the body goes down into the ground, the dirt covers the tomb and then you go home. Three days later at 7:00 on a Monday night, you are watching television and you get a knock at the door and it is the man you just buried three days earlier. That is a game changer, okay?
So Thomas doesn’t get that. So Thomas thinks at this point, Jesus said He was going to come back and I missed it. And so he thinks in his mind, he has missed an opportunity to hang out with the Lord Jesus Christ.
But secondly, we see in the text a moment of skepticism. Because Thomas missed the opportunity, he is skeptical. In a sense, he doubts in a sense that it happened.
Look at Verse 24, ‘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.’”
Now for 2,000 years, Thomas has been attached with a name. Thomas, the (what?) the Doubter. And I believe he has wrongly been attached with this identity of being a doubter. Now the good thing about John is, John records for us three different encounters in his gospel with Jesus and Thomas. So we have a little framework to build this character of who Thomas was.
So I want to show you who Thomas was. The first thing you will see as you turn to John Chapter 11 is that Thomas was a man devoted to Jesus. Thomas was a man devoted to Jesus. We are first introduced to Thomas outside of the calling of the Twelve in this encounter with Jesus when they are in Jericho. Jesus is far away from Bethany but He gets word that one of His friends, Lazarus has fallen sick and is about to die. And so He is telling His disciples, we are going to make a trip back to Bethany to heal Lazarus. But He waits three days before He makes the journey back to prove that Lazarus is dead. And the disciples council Jesus. They say, Jesus, you don’t understand. The Jews are trying to kill You. If You go back to Bethany, You are going to die. And Jesus says, I am going with or without you guys.
And then it is Thomas, don’t miss this, not Peter, who stands up and says, Let us go with you that we may die with Him. That is Thomas saying that. Not Peter. This doesn’t sound like a man who is fearful or a doubter. It actually sounds like a man who is devoted to Jesus, right? Jesus says, I don’t care what everybody else says or what anybody else does, I am with you, Brother. You see, he took the word seriously when Jesus said, if you are not willing to die for Me, you are not worthy to be My disciple. Thomas says, count me in, I am with you. So he is a man devoted to Jesus.
Secondly, he is a man who desires to learn more about Jesus. Go to John Chapter 14. John Chapter 14 mentions Thomas in the Upper Room moments before Jesus’ arrest. He has this last meal with His disciples. He bends down and washes their feet. He instructs them to love one another. And then John Chapter 14 Verse 1, Jesus says these words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place, I will come back to receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be. You know the way where I am going.’
The disciples at this point are sitting in silence. And it is Thomas, not Peter, not John, not James who speaks up as the other guys are dumbfounded as to what He just said and says, “Lord, we don’t know the way that You are going. Could You tell us the way?” And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through Me.”
What is Thomas doing here? He is posing an honest question. Jesus doesn’t turn away a seeking believer. He never does. This is a man who wants to know more. He has a desire to learn more about Jesus. I would rather someone ask me a simple question than to remain in the dark not knowing the answer. Wouldn’t you? Thomas is a thoughtful man. You have to think about this. He is a man who thinks through things. He is an intellectual thinker. He likes to ponder the facts. He has to understand all the implications of what it means to follow Jesus before he truly surrenders his life for Jesus. And you know what? Many of you are like that as well, right? Thomas is a man who is trying to wrap his mind around what Jesus is saying. You are going to die and be with the Father. What does that mean for us? We don’t know what that means. Can you explain it to us, Jesus?
So Thomas is a man who wants to know more. He has a desire to know more about Jesus. He is a man who is devoted to Jesus. Thirdly, he is a man whose doubt led to belief. His doubt led to belief.
Now go back to John 20. I want to put you in the mind of Thomas for just a moment. Everything Thomas knew as normative has been turned upside down. The Rabbi that he has left everything for just told them on three different occasions that He is going to die and depart from them. He goes to this Upper Room and Jesus says this is the last time we are going to eat together. You have eaten with this man for two and a half years. For two years now, just hanging with this man. This is the Last Supper we are going to have together. And then this man that you have followed wraps Himself in a towel, gets a basin of water and God Himself washes your feet! They get up from the meal. Judas leaves early, an early departure. The disciples are wondering where he is going. Jesus knows exactly what is happening. He takes the guys to the Garden of Gethsemane and as they leave that Garden, Jesus gets up and blood is trickling down His face like sweat. All of a sudden, they see this garrison of soldiers coming toward them led by, of all people, Judas, the turncoat! This is a man that was on the inside with these guys who has now sold Jesus out. It would be the equivalent of one of my inner staff, leadership team members, turning me in and leading the charge against me.
The disciples are blown away because not only is he selling out Jesus, he is turning his back on the group. Peter now ready for war, takes out a little knife called a micara, cuts off the soldier’s ear, blood is spitting everywhere and spewing everywhere. Jesus heals the man’s ear. Thomas watches this unfold. Jesus is shackled, brought to a trial, committed for a crime He didn’t do and crucified as he heard from other people on a cross and is dead.
Can you blame the guy for being shaken? Can you blame the guy for being uneasy?
Now see, some people deal with grief differently. Some people deal with it publicly. Other people deal with it privately. Some people like to be around friends to be consoled when they lose a loved one. Other people like to be in silence and solitude. I believe that is Thomas. He was a thinker. He was an intellectual man. He like to ponder things. He wanted to digest what just happened.
One commentator said this, “If the bare possibility of his Lord’s death had plunged him into despondency, what dark despair must have preyed on it when that death was actually accomplished before his eyes. How the figure of his dead Master had burnt itself into his mind and his soul is seen from the manner in which his mind dwells on the prints of the nails and the wound in His side. It is by these only that he will recognize and identify the Lord.”
What he is saying is, the very thing that Thomas is saying, he is telling you what he has been thinking about. He can’t get the wounds out of his mind! He goes on. “His heart was with the lifeless body on the cross and he could not bear to see the friends of Jesus or speak with those who had shared his hopes. But he buries his disappointment and desolation in solitude and silence. Thus it was like many melancholy people, he missed the opportunity of seeing what would effectually have scattered his doubts.”
Friends, here is a man whose whole world is turned upside down. He entrusted his life to Jesus. He still loved Jesus. He still cared for Jesus. He still wanted to be with Jesus. And now everything that he knew was turned upside down. This is not an unbelieving cynic. This is an honest, distressed believer. It is not that he is unwilling to believe in Jesus, it is that he is unable to believe in Jesus. He is saying, I want to know more. I want to see it with my own eyes. Or maybe, are you ready for this, maybe his reply is actually a request.
Friends, you have to understand. In Thomas’ mind, he thinks he missed it. This is not just his friend, this is his Rabbi. This is a man he loved. This is like a Father figure to him and he is saying, I just want one more time with Jesus. I just want to be with Him one more time before He goes. And until I see with my own eyes and touch it with my own hands, I am not going to believe. Can you hear the anguish in this man’s voice? He longs to be with Jesus. And he thinks, unfortunately, that he missed it.
And before you throw stones at Thomas, remember he is not the only one who had doubts. When Peter left the tomb after peering in and realizing the body was gone, it is said that he questioned what just happened. Even Peter questioned it. Mary Magdalene didn’t even know who Jesus was and she is trying to rationalize and reconcile in her mind what just happened.
When she goes back to tell the disciples that Jesus rose from the dead, they even doubt her testimony and the fact that these men on two occasions are still locked up in a safe house, shows us that they doubted God. So we can’t throw stones only at Thomas.
I want to submit to you that we need more Christians like Thomas. More people who want more of Jesus. Wouldn’t you agree with that? We need more Christians who are not satisfied with superficial, shallow, spirituality. We need people who want more of God and want to know more about Jesus. And I am not talking about just unbelievers coming to Jesus. I am talking about born-again Christians who want to mine the depths of the Word of God until they grab hold of God and draw near God. I am talking about the woman who risks life and death to grab the hem of the garment of Jesus. Where are those people today? Where are those people who say like the hymnist, “More about Jesus would I know. More of His grace to others show. More of His saving fullness see, more of His love who died for me. More of Jesus, more about Jesus, more of His saving fullness see, more of His love who died for me.
Friends, Thomas is not an unbelieving cynic, he is a skeptical man who is a seeker. And his skepticism leads to a fortified faith in Christ. And we will see that in just a moment. And it leads to this bold proclamation.
So we notice in the text that Thomas thinks he has a missed opportunity although it is not. Then we see secondly in the text that we have this moment of skepticism. We have this moment of doubt. And then finally we have this manifestation of Jesus’ identity.
Now, what I am about to tell you is probably the most robust proclamation of the identity of Jesus in all of the scriptures. And it is made by the man who was considered to the The Doubter.
Watch this. “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.’ 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.’ Thomas answered Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
Now, according to the Jews, they counted the day differently than we do. The first day of the week for them was Sunday. The last day of the week for them was Saturday and the day started at sundown and it ended on sundown the following day. Jesus’ first appearance is on Sunday, the first day of the week. Watch this. The second appearance is on Sunday to the disciples. And are you ready for this? The text says, eight days later. Now we normally would count eight days later as in one day beyond seven, beyond the week, so a week and a day. They didn’t count that way. They actually counted the first day and the last day and so eight days later, according to the Jewish calendar would have been Sunday again. That is why the disciples celebrated Jesus on the Lord’s Day which would have been Sunday, right? They celebrated Him on the first day of the week. Why did they meet on Sunday? Because that is when Jesus would show up and that is another sermon for another day. But you get the point there.
So, Jesus returns once again on Sunday. And as He walks in the room, He is not coming back for the other ten guys. He has already met those guys. Don’t miss this. He comes back for one man. I believe that. He walks in through the wall again, which would have freaked me out. I don’t know about you, but He just walks right through the wall. They had the doors locked and bolted and here Jesus comes in. He says, Peace be with you. Shalom. And then His eyes are fixated on one man. He says, Hey. I heard that one of you guys wanted to see My scars and touch My side. Is that true?
Now keep in mind, nobody told Jesus about this, which once again proves His omniscience. I just heard one of you guys…oh, it is you, Thomas. Thomas, what are you waiting on? Come on, Brother, stick out your finger. Come see. And after a brief moment of silence, Thomas’ heart is eating out of his chest. His palms are sweaty at this point. And the text does not say that Thomas ever makes a step toward Jesus. The text doesn’t say that Thomas even questioned the scars. The text doesn’t say that Thomas ever touched Jesus. He simply saw and believed. And he makes this bold proclamation, “My Lord and My God!” Friends, that was blasphemy. There is only one God. And Thomas says, no, You are God.
Now a lot of people like to say, well, Jesus never said He was God in the New Testament. Not only did Jesus say He was God in the New Testament in a Hebraic way, but other people said it for Him. Here is an affirmation of the identity of Jesus Christ by a man who was labeled a doubter at times. People would say he didn’t even understand. Not a heretic, a doubter at times. He didn’t even understand the claims of Christ.
Now what is interesting about John, this is awesome. John begins his gospel this way, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God” and the last proclamation in the gospel of John is, “My Lord and my God!” The gospel of John is book ended with the affirmation and the proclamation that Jesus Christ is God! I love this proclamation.
When Thomas says, “My Lord,” do you know what he is saying? Jesus has all authority. He is the ruler. And He is supreme. When he says, “My God,” he is saying, Jesus, You are one with the Father. And then he uses the personal pronoun, “my.” This is not a God, this is not the God, this is my God. This is a personal intimate relationship with Jesus.
Jesus says, “Thomas, have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and believed.” You know, Thomas Aquinas said it this way. “For those without faith, no explanation is possible. But for those with faith, no explanation is necessary.” Can anybody amen to that? See, faith is the window by which we perceive the risen Christ.
Now the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Was Thomas a failure? It is easy for us to castigate Thomas at times. It is easy for us to throw spiritual stones at Thomas. And I think the reason for that is, is because when we guilt blame our attention away from us on to someone else, it dissipates our own doubts and it takes the attention off of us.
But lets be honest. All of us have doubted at times, right? God, do you even hear my prayers? God, do you even know about my present circumstance because it doesn’t look like You are acting on my behalf. God, when are You going to save my family member? When are You going to act in my life, because it doesn’t look like You even hear me.
Friends, doubting is normal in life. The thing is, doubting shouldn’t remain as doubts which lead to unbelief. Doubting should lead to a fortified faith in Christ. You see, it is Thomas’ proclamation that Jesus is Lord and God which I believe helped him in his ministry as he was sent out. How did Thomas’ life end? Well, after the spirit of God descended upon the apostles in Acts Chapter 2, tradition tells us that Thomas took the gospel to India. Now feel the weight of this. When Thomas arrived on Indian soil, how many Christians were around in that country? Zero. In India it is consumed by false gods. In fact, today they say that every person has eight gods personally. Every person has eight gods that they can chose to pray to at any time for any reason. And so you can imagine this pagan lifestyle surrounded by idolatry and Jesus Christ commissions Him to this place. And I believe it is the affirmation of Thomas that he has One who is His Lord and the true God that is the proclamation that sustains him. After being there a short time, some of the pagan angry priests incite a riot against Thomas. They bring him before the square. They beat him and four soldiers attack him. Are you ready for this? With spears and guess how Thomas dies? Think of the providence of God. They ram a spear in his side, the same way he requested to see proof of Jesus’ resurrection. I don’t think that is any accident. So Thomas dies by a spear. Was he a bold witness for Christ? You better believe it.
So, Robby, how do we apply this text? How do we act upon what we just heard? Let me give you two ways, two walking points, if you will, to apply this text.
Here is the first one. Doubting is normal for the Christian or even before you were a Christian, even as a Christian. Doubting is normal. Because here is the truth you have to understand. It is not how you start, it is how you finish. See, you can have doubt if it leads to faith. I am not talking about doubting which leads to unbelief. You can question things in the Christian life. Let me give you two men from the Bible.
Do you remember Abraham in the Old Testament? Genesis Chapter 12. God goes to him and says, you are going to have a child. You are going to be the father of many nations and I want you to take your family and travel to a place that is unknown to you, but when you get there, I will let you know. So he goes to Canaan. He gets there. He is put in a predicament where he has to tell the truth or lie and what does Abraham do? He lies and flees from God’s protection and provision and he camps out outside of the expected plan of God.
Eight chapters later, Abraham once again gets an opportunity to redeem himself and he is put in a predicament where once again he lies to the King, just like he lied to Pharaoh and now once again this man is following his own way and not God’s. He is questioning the benevolence of God, questioning the provision of God over his life.
But do you believe, just two chapters later, Genesis 22, this is the same man who is displaying unparalleled faith as he takes the sword and raises it up over his son, which is a picture of God giving us His Son for the sins of the world. Abraham is recorded in Hebrews Chapter 11 as a man in the Hall of Faith. Friends, don’t miss this. It is not how you begin, it is how you end.
John the Baptist was a man who saw the miraculous. He prepared the way for the Lord. I was reading something this weekend. John the Baptist actually started the Christian ministry. Did you know that? It was in essence his ministry, although God gave it to him, loaned it to him for a season, he began the movement. And then he created this ministry, if you will, preparing the way for Jesus which is His ministry and then turned it over to Him. You know, I must decrease and I am giving it all to You so that You can increase. And so, at the end of his earthly life, he finds himself in a prison and he sends word to Jesus through his disciples, are you the one to come or should we be looking for someone else?
Now we learned a couple of weeks ago, he is not doubting whether Jesus is the Messiah or not. He is doubting the manifold blessings of the ministry of the Messiah. Because when John reads the Old Testament, he sees a Messiah who comes with vengeance and judgment and wrath. And John is saying, I am not seeing any of this. And so he doubts the ministry of Jesus. So what Jesus does is, He says go back to John and say, the dead are rising and the deaf hear and the blind see and the lame walk. And by the way, blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me. And so John finishes to the end faithful.
Friends, don’t miss this. It is not how you start, it is how you finish. It is okay to question things about God. Don’t stay there. Rationalize, reconcile in your mind, seek out answers in order to have a fortified faith in Christ.
The second truth, as we close, walking point. Not only is doubting normal in the Christian life, secondly, you need to recognize the overwhelming evidence to support the claims of Christianity. This will help dissipate some of your doubt. Recognize the overwhelming evidence to support the claims of Christianity.
G. K. Chesterton said this: “The point of having an open mind like having an open mouth is that you are suppose to close it on something.” He always has a way with words. That is Chesterton. The point of having an open mind like an open mouth is that you should close it on something.
Friends, listen to me, you can sink your spiritual teeth in the claims of Christianity. This is a book called the Bible written by 40 different authors, 66 different books, it has been recorded in three different languages, it was written on three different continents over 1500 years and every single encounter and account points to one man, the coming of Jesus Christ. You can build your life upon the Word of God.
And if that is not enough, Paul says in I Corinthians, you doubt the resurrection? Oh, by the way 500 different people witnessed the resurrection with their own eyes. Listen, if the resurrection was a hoax, all it would take is one person who saw that this wasn’t true to say, I wasn’t a witness. This is a joke. But Paul said 500 different people witnessed the resurrection.
It is amazing how we believe in everything else but the Bible, right? What are you going to believe in other than the Bible? What are you going to put your trust in? Your own ideas? Your own intellect? Moral relativism, cultural norms, the Supreme Court? What are you going to put your faith in? The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of God will remain forever.
Friends, we can sink our teeth in the Word of God, Amen? A missionary was having a conversation with a skeptical lady who was a local and she was saying, you know, these are really, these are really hard claims that you are making here that Jesus was sinless and He lived a perfect life and He rose from the dead. I don’t think I can accept that. And the missionary probed a little deeper and she said, “What would it take for you to accept the claims of Christ?” She said, “I would actually need, I would actually need to hear from someone who was actually there. Like, if I could hear from someone who was actually there to see it, then I would believe it.” Then the missionary picked up on this and said, “You mean like an eye witness account? If you had an eye witness account, you would believe?” And she said, “Absolutely.” And she said, “Great. We have four of them actually in the Bible. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All these guys were either there or writing on behalf of someone who was there.”
Friends, the testimony of the Lord is true. The testimony of the Lord is sure. We have thousands of years of church history. We have thousands of years of biblical facts. We have archeology now that is proving the claims of Christianity. But even with all that stuff, we still have to have faith. We have to put our faith in Christ. And faith at times is believing what you can’t see.
Now the question I asked myself this week as I was studying Thomas is the question you are probably wondering as we began this message. In the First Century, Thomas had two names. A lot of people had two names. It seems like Jesus always gave people nicknames, you know. He gave Peter the name Rocky. He was the first Rocky if you will. He gave James and John, the sons of thunder, right? These guys were pretty boastful a times. But He gave Thomas a name, probably The Twin. I don’t know if Jesus gave him the name or the disciples gave him the name. His name was Thomas, but his other name in Greek was Didymus or the Twin. I have wondered this week, who is the twin of Thomas? And I have come to realize, guess who Thomas’ twin is? It is you. You see, at times it is me. And it is okay to question things of God, but don’t miss this. You shouldn’t stay there. And so maybe you are a skeptic today and you are saying, Pastor, I have heard the claims of Jesus. I have read the gospels before. I have been challenged to believe in Christ, but I am still a skeptic. I need to see something. I am from Missouri, I am from the Show Me State. I want you to show me something and then I will believe, right? You know, people say all the time, if we just find Jesus’ slipper, then I will believe, right? No, you won’t. If we find the ark that Noah sailed on during that flood, then I will believe. No, you won’t. Friends, your faith…come in real close…is not based on feelings or findings, it is based on the facts of the Word of God. That is why we need to get into the Word of God until the Word of God gets into us. Not only the Word of God but the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.
So watch this…faith is the window by which we look through to see the risen Christ.
C. H. Dodd said it this way, “Now that Jesus is no longer visible to the bodily eye, faith remains the capacity for seeing His glory.” So the world says, seeing is believing, but guess what Christianity says? Believing is seeing.
Do you want to see Christ? Put your faith in Him. If you are a skeptic today, don’t miss this…I pray and we all pray as believers that this would be the turning point in your life where you will settle it once and for all. Do not let your questions about the claims of Christ….questions about eternity with Christ keep you from eternal life with Christ.
Do you have questions? We all have questions. Don’t let that keep you from a personal relationship with Jesus.