Focal Passage: John 20:19-29
One of the most tragic and dangerous developments in recent times is what’s known as Christian deconstructionism. Just as one deconstructs a building by tearing down the roof, the walls, and eventually the foundation, some today are claiming that persuasive arguments from science, philosophy, and other religions have filled them with enough “reasonable doubts” to deconstruct their faith, thus tearing down biblical beliefs they once held about Jesus and leading them to abandon Christ.
It’s even become popular for teenagers, college students, and others to post “deconstruction videos” on social media, proudly explaining why they are no longer Christians.
But while doubt may not lead all believers to abandon the faith, it is true that all believers at times have experienced doubt. There are moments of crisis when we wonder if God really cares about us.
Sometimes we struggle to make sense of biblical stories and theological concepts, questioning whether all of this could be true. We often face times of indecision when we’re unsure if God’s way is best, if what He promises will really work. Doubt is something that all believers struggle with to a degree, but none more memorable than one of Jesus’ disciples named Thomas.
In John 20:19-23, we learn that exactly one week after Jesus had been raised from the dead, He appeared again to the disciples while they were gathered in a room. A fascinating feature of this appearance is that Jesus entered the room while the doors were locked, giving us a mysterious detail about the capabilities of His glorified body. But after Jesus met with them and breathed the Holy Spirit into their hearts, John notes that Thomas was not with them when Jesus came (v. 24).
Why was Thomas not there? He gives his own reason in verse 25, “Unless I see in his hands the marks of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
It appears that Thomas was so overwhelmed with doubt about the claims of Jesus’ resurrection that he thought such a hope was absurd. Who gets arrested, tortured, crucified, buried, and sealed in a tomb, and lives to tell about it? Such belief goes against everything our fleshly reasoning says should be true!
But according to the grace and mercy of Christ, even though Thomas failed to believe the Scriptures and the eyewitness testimonies, Jesus came to him with undeniable evidence that He was alive.
Eight days later, Jesus appeared to Thomas and said, “ ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ And Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ ” (vv. 27-28). Thomas’ faith in Jesus was reconstructed, but only because Jesus did the building.
Whenever we enter into a season of doubt, the most effective thing we can do is call out to Jesus to give us the evidence we need to believe. Like the father in Mark 9:24, who cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief,” we must cry out to God expressing our questions and doubts. When you’re open and honest with the Lord, don’t be surprised when He gives you the answers and confidence you need. Soli Deo Gloria! B&R