The blessing of belief

Thursday – John 20: 24-25 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now Thomas (also known as Doubting Thomas) is rather infamous for this interaction at the end of John. Jesus has risen and appeared already to a handful of his disciples, but Thomas happened to be out of the room when Jesus showed up to everyone else and he is having a hard time accepting the possibility of literal resurrection.

Not long after this, Jesus appears to the disciples again and actually encourages Thomas to touch his hands, feet, and side so that he can know and believe. This is a gentle and vulnerable gesture on Jesus’s part. There is no chastisement. Just invitation.

Of course, Jesus also recognizes that most of his future disciples (us, for instance) will not have the opportunity to literally touch his hands, feet, and side. In his conversation with Thomas, Jesus offers a blessing for those who will believe without seeing. It’s not that Thomas’s desire for evidence is wrong, but it’s also not inherently better than belief without proof. Both are important parts of the disciple’s experience (which includes us!)

How does this tension between the goodness of doubt and the blessing of belief show up in your own life?