It was Will Rogers, the early 20th century Native American and cowboy humorist who was quoted in the Saturday Evening Post of November 6, 1926, on the Communist Leon Trotsky. “I bet you if I had met him and had a chat with him, I would have found him a very interesting and human fellow, for I never yet met a man that I didn’t like.”
Will was a special guy. Sounds like he looked for the good in others. I’m not so sure I could do that. One person that gets written off is the man we know as Thomas. He is affectionately known as “Doubting Thomas.” Maybe that’s a bad rap.
Not much is given in the Scriptures about Thomas. But keeping an open eye to the handful of texts that are given, he is introduced to us as one of the 12 in Mark 3:18. He is known as Thomas, called Didymus, which means “twin.” Today, I wanted to share with you an observation or two.
We only read of Thomas’ personality in John’s gospel. Thomas comes across as an honest fellow and maybe a little slow to catch on. In John 11, he gives us the impression of being a bit pessimistic. When Jesus announces that He is determined to go back to Jerusalem, having just been there and encountering the Pharisees, Thomas responds in verse 16: “Let us go that we may die with Him.” Little did Thomas know that he was about to witness the greatest miracle that Jesus ever did, when Christ would raise Lazarus from the dead.
Sometimes our pessimism can get in the way of seeing God do something spectacular. Being a Christian ought to be exciting, for we serve a God who never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121). Jesus also said that His Father was always working and that He was working also (John 5:17). There is never a lost opportunity with God. But Thomas was not necessarily in the mood for another road trip, especially one that would probably end badly.
When we are stressed or subject to our sinful tendencies, we too can be pessimistic. We rarely know how to turn a bad day into a better day. We can dwell on the negative and see the glass as half empty.
But in those times, we must remember that we serve an awesome God who has given His children by faith, joy and peace. To know that your sins have been forgiven and that you are a new person because of Jesus and His work in you is a marvelous thing.
Thankfully, the story turns for Thomas. He would later witness the risen Christ and respond: “My Lord and My God.” His life was truly changed after experiencing Jesus coming back from the dead.
Tradition tells us that he went on to do mission work in India, where he died for his faith in 72 A.D. He is sometimes known as “The Apostle to India.” His life is a reminder that God changes lives of individuals that trust Him. He can change your life, as you seek Him.