Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ John 20:29
Thomas is forever associated with doubt, when in fact he was full of belief. He did demand to place his finger in the wounds to establish this was really Jesus, but when he encountered Christ he immediately acknowledged him as Lord and God. (John 20:24-28)
Jung describes us as forever ‘becoming’.(Delden Anne McNeedy, Becoming (Fisher-King, 2010) As we grow in human awareness we begin to see the differences between what social convention demands of us and our preferences. Our faith is challenged. All too easily Christian faith is reduced to little more than a social convention. Whilst searching for something to meet my inner spiritual need (‘…our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you’ declared Augustine of Hippo) we can miss the reality of God completely.
Jesus can never be constrained by convention, social or religious. His whole life message is an invitation to serve a distinct set of Kingdom values. These alone offer us peace. Thomas remains unmoved by his fellow disciples’ stories.
Yet, in his demand to see and touch Jesus’ wounds he reveals his desire for truth. Finding this truth demands he suspend rationality and embrace the reality of resurrection. Thomas’ eyes needed opening. For most of us life is framed when young.
Reason insists that nothing is true until established as measurable fact. This can never lead us into God’s presence. For love, be it human or divine, lies beyond objective measures. It is a conviction born of encounter and experience. God lies beyond formulation, yet never outside of friendship.
In our risk averse age, where even ‘friendship’ is easily reduced to personal advantage, any conviction based upon abstracts, such as encounter, requires courage. This is the courage Thomas demonstrates. Faith remains a courageous walk every day.
Something to Consider: How would you describe your latest encounter with God?
An Action to Take: Faith begins in encounter. What do you believe you are withholding from God? Why is it so hard to surrender?
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, help me to find confidence that nothing is impossible with You.’
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