One story which Christians are all too familiar with is the account of “doubting Thomas.” He became labeled a doubter because of what happened when Christ appeared to the disciples eight days after the first appearance. Thomas wasn’t there at that time, therefore the reports of Christ’s resurrection seemed too good to be true to him.
John 20:26-27 (KJV) describes what happened. “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace be unto you.’ Then saith he to Thomas, ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.'”
Jesus knew Thomas well, as he knows us all. This much-maligned disciple loved the Lord so much that he felt willing to lay his life on the line for him. Look at what John 11:16 (KJV) records him as saying. “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.'”
When Jesus spoke of going away, meaning his ascension into heaven, Thomas longed to follow him but he didn’t know how. John 14:5 (KJV) shows the extent of his devotion. “Thomas saith unto him, ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?'”
Jesus often said, “O ye of little faith,” to his disciples when they didn’t comprehend his trustworthiness. But Thomas adored the Lord. When he realized that he had indeed risen, John 20:28 (KJV)quotes him as exclaiming, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, ‘My Lord and my God.'”
The whole point of discipleship is to trust the Master implicitly. Yet Christ’s disciples had a hard time doing it. Even so, we can learn from their mistakes and strive to accept whatever he leads us into.
I’ll be dealing with this crucial subject extensively in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven. Our access to paradise depends on us fully trusting in Christ and relying on his righteousness. Anything else falls far short of salvation and dooms us to eternity in hell.