Monday, 1 April 2013


by Colin Bloom

This is the third and final part of my Easter Trilogy. For Pete's sake, on Easter Sunday we looked at Saint Peter the rock who became the denier who became the rock again. For crying out loud, on Holy Saturday we read about Jesus's supreme act of love on the Cross, and the fact that the Cross is centre-point of all history.

Today I want to briefly look at the man most of us know as Doubting Thomas. I think it is healthy for us all to be a bit like Doubting Thomas. I'm not sure God requires us to be unthinking people with blind faith. He designed us to have a brain, He gave us the power of inquiry, so I suspect that He has no problem with us asking the big questions that we all have or had. Where did we come from? What happens to us when we die? Was Jesus who He said He was? It would be a pretty odd person that never wondered about such things.

So who was this doubty Thomas fellow? In the Gospel of John (Chapter 20:24-29) we read the following:

Now Thomas (called 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 it.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though 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; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Here Thomas is like so many people, the kind of people who say that unless they can feel the presence of Jesus then they won't believe in his existence. But unlike most people, Thomas put himself in the position where he could have his doubts answered. He at least went and tried it out.

How many people say, things like, "the Bible has nothing to say to me" and yet have never picked it up; or say, "Church isn't for me" but have never gone. 
Perhaps the crime is not the doubt, the crime is not asking the questions or ignoring the answers.

Christians don't have all the answers to everything, we are meant to have faith, and we are meant to put our faith to the test. The challenge to us all is can we be more like Thomas, by putting ourselves in the position of having our doubts answered?

1 comment:

Ian Gallehawk said...


Congratulations on a very interesting and thought provoking trilogy, I have enjoyed it immensely!

I like to think of Thomas as "Verifying Thomas". These were difficult and dangerous times. Enemies lay around every corner. Who wouldn't want to verify a story such as this?

Tradition has it that Thomas went on to spread the word in India. All along the way, he would have had to verify much information.

Perhaps he wanted to make sure that he was absolutely right about something before he passed it on to someone else?

Whatever his motivation, his faith appears to have been sufficient to have lead him to a martyr's death, something, for which I would lack the courage!

We should all be grateful that he doubted and that his story was told. Without Thomas' evidence, would we have believed?