Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 8th March 1998
From the Pastor: Proverbial Texts VI
"A doubting Thomas"|
See: "Thomas ... be not faithless but believing" John 20:27
You may be watching a spectacular circus act on the high trapeze and the
star performer is about to attempt a stunt beyond his normal repertoire.
Your companion is skeptical as to whether he can do it, at which you
retort "Don't be a doubting Thomas!"
This proverbial epithet is of course derived from the account in John 20:24-29
wherein Thomas, an absent disciple when Jesus first appeared to the disciple
band as a group, made some very scientific demands to prove Jesus' resurrection
and indentity as a condition of faith on his part. When Jesus graciously met
those conditions, and more besides, He invited Thomas to put Him to the test.
Thomas was overwhelmed as lordly scepticism turned to worshipping faith.
The use of this epithet in all sorts of contexts manifests on one hand how
the Bible has been secularised and stripped of its proper context. While
there is a place, up to a point, for such proverbial use, let us never forget
that real faith and doubt are spiritual issues. Meanwhile real faith and
confidence is the victory which overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Christ
is alive; the testimony from eye witnesses is sure; and these facts in turn
declare that He is the Son of God and that His claims are absolutely valid
(see Romans 1:4 and John 10:18). Hence, don't you be a "doubting Thomas",
but believe the Gospel message.