Thomas, Without a Doubt
What do you think about "doubting Thomas" as a nickname? A doubting Thomas is a skeptic—someone who wants to see the evidence for themselves. The origin of this expression comes from an account recorded in the Gospel of John. (Click on the underlined link to see the account firsthand.) After Jesus had died on the cross, was buried, and arose from the tomb the third day, He began making a series of appearances in His resurrected body. On one occasion, the Apostle Thomas wasn't in the locked room when the resurrected Christ suddenly appeared to the other apostles. (Although the Bible doesn't say, I imagine the other apostles sent Thomas for some snacks. And maybe a deck of cards or some comic books to help pass the time while they were hiding out from the Jewish and Roman authorities.)
When Thomas got back and found out, he simply refused to believe the others' report of Christ's appearance. Maybe he thought, "it must've been a vision, a mass hallucination, or something like that. Besides, the door was locked! How could Jesus get into the room? It's not like He could momentarily step into another dimension and pass right through the wall! After all, everybody knows there are only three dimensions—four if you count time as a dimension."
(Please note: This happened before the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians, in which he inadvertently let it slip out there are more than three space dimensions. Go ahead, doubting Thomas. Click the underlined link if you think I'm making this up.)
Well the rest of Thomas' story happened a week later, when the resurrected Jesus appeared again in the locked room, and this time Thomas was there. (I think maybe the others started sending a different apostle, Simon the Zealot for snacks, because "The Z-Man" always brought back Hot Cheetos®. It's just a guess.) Jesus let Thomas closely examine the holes in His hands and the piercing in his side from the Roman soldier's spear. And without a doubt, Thomas was convinced!
Then Jesus used the opportunity to pass along a word of encouragement to all of us who were not able to be in that locked room that day. As recorded in John 20:29, He said "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Do you believe the crucified, buried, and resurrected Jesus Christ appeared in that locked room? If so, you probably already understand the blessing Jesus was describing.
But Dear Reader, even if you don't believe in a crucified, buried, and resurrected Jesus Christ, I hope you'll always feel THE MAIN THING is a fun, welcoming place for you to visit. I sincerely look forward to our brain-bending discussions about the nature of reality. So please come on back soon. Who knows? Maybe next time we'll serve virtual Hot Cheetos®.
(The painting shown is The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.)