The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

T is for THOMAS

[This is the MILLERWRITES contribution to the 2012 Blogging A to Z April Challenge  Here is my INTRODUCTION to this particular series, and an opportunity for you to influence which alphabetically aligned weird words I will comment on this month.  THANK YOU for stopping by!]

There are a lot of interesting T words in the introduction list aren't there?  Quite a few provocative themes that I could address.  So I have chosen THOMAS.  Call me chicken if you want to, but you know better than that.  I'll stick my neck out and take a stab at any topic generally.  But today you can call me 'lazy' if you must; I am so far behind on the A to Z challenge that here I am going to take a break.

But that's not to say I have nothing to say about THOMAS THE SCIENTIST!  What?  Did you think I was going to say THOMAS THE DOUBTER?  Well, I kind of did.  A good scientist doesn't believe anything (regarding his science, that is) unless it has been proven to him, or he has proven it himself.  THOMAS was simply like that.

Do you know the story I'm referring to?  After Jesus was crucified and buried, 10 of His remaining disciples were hanging out (hiding!) in the upper room, mourning, and trying to figure out what to do.  They had heard some rumors already that Jesus had risen, but were too shocked to believe it, or embrace the idea.  Suddenly Jesus appeared in the room, even though the door was locked!   Jesus showed them his pierced hands and side, and the 10 men were thrilled to see Him alive.  When they later told THOMAS about the visit, he did not believe it.  Thinking like an intellectual, and probably referring to what he had been told about the supposed visit, he said (in John 20:25b) “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.”  I imagine that his emphasis was on the word " I ", because " they " had been given the chance to do just that.  I doubt (ooops; now I'm Michael the doubter!) they even wanted to probe Jesus' wounds for proof, but they had the advantage of a shared group experience: the encouragement that others were obviously seeing the same thing.

One week later, we are told, as the story continues in John 20, that Jesus came again when THOMAS was there and challenged THOMAS specifically to feel the wounds, and to "stop doubting and believe".

Poor old THOMAS should not be put down for doubting the mental stability of his buds (even the two who were probably his brothers, Mathew and James, one of which may have been a twin brother (THOMAS means 'twin')), but Jesus was perhaps a bit tough on THOMAS in the story.  Yes, we should be careful of what we believe in the natural world.  There must be evidence, if not absolute proof, behind the things we are told; and yet there are some things, some super-natural things, like a resurrected Jesus, that are just as real as blood and bone, and we would be fools to waste too much time doubting what we might know to be true.

THOMAS did believe, and made the powerful declaration his fellows had neglected:  Standing in that room, and without inspecting the wounds, THOMAS called Jesus "My Lord and my God."  Never to miss a teaching moment, Jesus made an important point.  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

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1 comment:

  1. Amazing post. I am a definite believer. I never have seen Jesus in the flesh, didn't have to feel his wounds, and still all these centuries later I have no doubt he indeed was resurrected from the dead. Wonderful post!!



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