“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 Didymus ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.” John 20:24-25
He wasn’t in it for the money. He wasn’t even in it for the recognition. He actually believed that the world could be different. Thomas had found a leader worth following, and he was so committed to him that he was ready to die with him.
“Then Thomas (also known as Didymus ) said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” John 11:16
I think Thomas gets a bad rap for his doubt. His name even makes its way into a euphemism when we call someone a doubting Thomas. The evidence in the book of John is that Thomas was deeply committed to Jesus. He was willing to risk his own life to follow Jesus. So the question is, why does he doubt now?
Perhaps, you know why he doubts now. It is emotionally taxing to hope sometimes, isn’t it? You have a dream, a longing deep down in your heart, and it doesn’t come true. It’s almost less painful to stop hoping for things if our hopes are just going to be dashed repeatedly.
I think Thomas is in that place. He watched a dream be crushed before his eyes. Thomas saw his master, Jesus, brutally crucified. All his hope was wrapped up in the person of Jesus, and now he was dead. The idea that Jesus had risen from the dead meant that he could hope again, but his heart was too crushed to try.
Here is the reality – being in a relationship with God doesn’t mean that your every desire will be realized. It does mean that you are in a relationship with the one who can make dead things alive again. It feels risky to hope, but hope is also what keeps us alive. I’d like to learn to risk my hope on Jesus, wouldn’t you?
Take a moment to tell Jesus some of the hopes that you have let die. Ask him if any of them need to be resurrected. Ask him to give you a heart that hopes again.