Poor Thomas. He gets a bad rap for the importance of his statements and role in the gospel. We hear about how he doubted that Jesus rose from the dead and wouldn’t believe until he had seen with his own eyes. We hear the verse “blessed are those who believe without seeing” all the time. But these two other statements in that small section of the gospel are incredibly important as well.
First, Thomas declares Jesus, my lord, MY GOD. He declares Jesus God.
When I first read this passage last month I read in the commentary of my Bible about this important statement. I had never heard, or realized, that this was the first time an apostle said this before.
This morning I decided to go online and research if I remembered correctly. I did. This verse is a big deal. There is a lot of theological discussion about it because Thomas was the first apostle to actually refer to Jesus as God in the flesh. This is part of the basis for the triune God. This is the recognition that only God would be able to come back to life on his own. That only God would be able to tell exactly what was going to happen before it did.
As Christians, it is the statement for each of us that we need to surrender to the higher power of God/Jesus/Spirit.
But as I researched on a website called Patheos, I also went down a rabbit hole as I clicked on and scanned a variety of other articles. One was “10 Questions Christians Must Answer”, which turned out to be from an aetheist perspective. Each question was a hard one, many relating to why doesn’t God save everyone and why doesn’t he answer every single prayer. To me, it was very sad.
And then I realized, Jesus’ statement to Thomas was equally important. We must believe that Jesus is Lord, God, creator, regulator of the universe. We must. Otherwise we have no hope.
Two things struck me most in the aetheist article: 1. the author did not account at ALL for humans to be accountable for what can happen on earth. 2. He had no hope at all. No optimism that there might be some good that would come out of situations, no matter how bad.
The reality of our world is this: we will not live on earth forever. We won’t. We live in clay jars. We put too much emphasis on our bodies and their importance. And we don’t look at the importance of our souls and legacies–which may not rely on how our bodies look, are “complete”, or how long they last.
Christianity does. It is all about our souls–our legacies as a people who care and try to live in love on earth, until our souls can join Christ in heaven. It is all about not doubting, but believing in the goodness of each person’s ability to have a soul that is good at the core. About believing that God created us to be loved and good. That He calls us to be servants in love and goodness. About believing that there is a place that is untouched by evil and is pure rapture and hope.
We must not doubt, but declare, and surrender, to the fact that Jesus is God.