Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. John 20:29.
When Jesus first met the disciples in the upper chamber [following His resurrection], Thomas was not with them. He heard the reports of the others, and received abundant proof that Jesus had risen; but gloom and unbelief filled his heart.... He was determined not to believe, and for a whole week he brooded over his wretchedness, which seemed all the darker in contrast with the hope and faith of his brethren.... He ardently loved his Lord, but he had allowed jealousy and unbelief to take possession of his mind and heart.39
[He] firmly and self-confidently affirmed that he would not believe unless he should put his fingers in the prints of the nails and his hand in the side where the cruel spear was thrust....
When Jesus again met with His disciples, Thomas was with them.... And Jesus gave him the evidence which he had desired.40
His heart leaped for joy, and he cast himself at the feet of Jesus crying, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus accepted his acknowledgment, but gently reproved his unbelief....
Many who, like Thomas, wait for all cause of doubt to be removed, will never realize their desire. They gradually become confirmed in unbelief....
In His treatment of Thomas, Jesus gave a lesson for His followers. His example shows how we should treat those whose faith is weak, and who make their doubts prominent. Jesus did not overwhelm Thomas with reproach, nor did He enter into controversy with him. He revealed Himself to the doubting one. Thomas had been most unreasonable in dictating the conditions of his faith, but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers. Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy.... But let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, “My Lord and my God.”41
Jesus longed for His fledgling church to come together in purpose, harmony, and mission. Today, amid perhaps unprecedented polarization in the world, our nations, and our church, we too need to heed Jesus’ counsel to seek His Spirit and come together for mission, especially for the least of these. The task seems daunting and impossible in our humanity. That’s why we need to pray as never before for the miracle of healing and reconciliation that only God can bring.
Faith and optimism—two simple words that can change you, your church, and your future. A positive, healthy attitude based on hope and faith is the number one human ingredient in church growth. In this inspiring article produced by Ministry Magazine (Dec. 2012), author and pastor Joseph Kidder shares real life examples that will challenge your thinking paradigm in leadership.