Friday, May 2, 2014

Digging Deeper

   Another post of John 20! Yay! This one is specifically focusing on Thomas and Jesus so before reading this post please take a look at the source, John 20:24-29
   I've always felt empathetic towards Thomas and despised the nickname many believers have given him, doubting Thomas. It feels so wrong to me to identify a person with his sin when he's been freed from sin by Jesus already, when he was freed in the very story that he gets his nickname from! Unfortunately, I struggle with doubt just as Thomas did and I don't think I'm alone.* That's why we should be encouraged by Thomas story instead of focusing on his label.
   At the beginning of this story, we have the disciples trying to persuade Thomas of what they've seen while he refuses to believe, to hope. Thomas did listen but he did not believe, could not believe, until He too had seen Jesus. Personally, I think there is a great spiritual metaphor to be found in this. I think we are often like the disciples, we think that our words and persuasive techniques will be enough to make people believe, but they're not. The situation requires Jesus coming himself and doing whatever it takes, in the way that only He can,* for anyone to believe. As disciples of Jesus, we can never take His place and are being extremely sinful and arrogant if we try. God is good and He will reveal Himself to everyone individually and lead them to Him in the way that fits their personal needs. It is our job to listen and obey God so that we can play a part in preparing their heart! (<- that is a rhyme!:))

   (Please know that this paragraph is not a follow up of the last one, it is completely it own!!!)When you stick something into a wound, it deepens. I think this is interesting keep in mind when Jesus comes to Thomas and offers to let him stick his had in His side and his finger in His palm. Jesus comes to Thomas and instructs him to deepen His wounds because He knows it will help Thomas believe. And beyond physically, don't you think Jesus was already wounded as the disciples hid and Thomas' unbelief was just deepening His spiritual would as well?! I do, but I certainly don't think that the wound deepening ended with Tomas. Even 2000 years later, our unbelief wounds Him, yet He is willing to be wounded again and again for our sakes. And just as He did for Thomas, He comes to us to do whatever we need, even if what we need will be painful for Him.

*I know for some people, it's hard to believe in someone they can see but that's never been a big problem for me. For a while my great "faith" was a source of personal pride (as though we can choose our spiritual gifts, as though that natural faith wasn't directly from God!) but then I realized that I had a lot of doubt too, it was just different. I don't doubt the Bible or God's existence and goodness but it's often hard for me to believe I should obey someone when I can't audibly hear their instructions. Many people who don't think doubt applies to them may be like me, not having yet recognized what form their doubt tends to take.
*No one else could have made Thomas believe except Jesus because only Jesus had the holes in His hands and side, only Jesus could meet His conditions a surpass His expectations. 

p.s. In case you didn't catch the fact the title of this post is a pun, it is! :) Because we're digging deeper into the word by discovering how Jesus lets us dig deeper(literally and metaphorically) into Him.

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