What I’m Thinking: Blessed Are…

Thomas usually serves as a stand-in for our spiritual failures. But is he?

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the second part of John’s twentieth chapter (John 20:19-31). This portion begins later in the day on that first Easter. The disciples were hiding, appropriately enough. Jesus, however, came to them in the locked room where they were, greeted them with love and affection, and they rejoiced to behold the risen Christ.

But as we know, there was one disciple who was not there, the one named Thomas. The rest of this reading tends to be referred to as the “doubting Thomas” story. We tend to make Thomas a stand-in for our spiritual failures in life for his reluctance, his refusal to believe until he had seen – and not just seen but touched – the risen Jesus.

Yeah, we try to make Thomas into a stand-in for our failures. But to be honest, I think we might make Thomas into a stand-in for our lives. Thomas was in the same place that we are all the time, told of the resurrection of Jesus but not an eyewitness to it. The others had seen. The others had, we assume, been embraced in the same way that Mary Magdalene had that Easter morning.

But not Thomas. And not us.

We… we rely upon the reports; we rely upon whatever movements of the Spirit we perceive, each one of us; we rely upon faith.

At the end of this story Jesus says, “Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.” It’s a little bit like those Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew, all those impossible things. Remember: “Blessed are the poor, blessed are the meek.” Blessed also are those who do not see and yet believe.

It is through this faith, it is through this trust, it is through this relationship with One that we do not see, that we do come to be blessed, to find that additional strength in trial, to find that additional comfort in sorrow, to find that hope when everything looks grim.

Yes, indeed. Blessed indeed are those who do not see and yet believe.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: | Posted on April 14, 2020

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