Tim Keller | May 4, 1997
In the gospel accounts, Thomas is pushing, pushing, pushing, and finally in this passage comes right out and says it. What does he say? “My Lord and my God!” That’s what it means to be a Christian, and you’re not a Christian until you say it. On the one hand, it’s a propositional statement. Jesus is Lord of the universe and God himself–there’s content to the faith. And on the other hand, it’s personal. He doesn’t just say, “Lord and God,” he says, “My Lord and my God!” and so he rests his life on it.
This is what John has been trying to get us to. Until you see him as that–not just a nice person, a savior who kind of helps you over the hard times in your life, someone who you go to church for on high holy days and pray to when you’re in trouble. This has to be the one who is the center of your life; the one you bow down to.
How do you get to that? How are we going to come to faith in Christ? How are we going to strengthen our faith in Christ the same way Thomas found? Let’s look at four practical ways to find faith or encourage your faith.
The tale of Thomas, who doubted Jesus’ resurrection and later believed, teaches us the importance of seeing Jesus’ actions, not just hearing His words. This story shows how powerful Jesus’ resurrection is, changing our past, present, and future. It tells us that we shouldn’t just focus on Jesus’ teachings, but also on His death and resurrection. If we removed the miracles from Christianity, it would change everything. This shows us who Jesus really is – the Son of God.
1. Listen to the apostles
Knowing Jesus isn’t just about hearing sermons or talking to other Christians. It’s about really getting to know His story, as told by the apostles in the Gospels. This makes Jesus more real to us. Even if we have doubts, the apostles’ words can make Jesus feel more present in our own lives.
2. See how patient he has been with you
Jesus knew about Thomas’ doubts, and still, He asked Thomas to touch his wounds and believe in Him. This is like a scene from the movie “The Fisher King,” where a homeless man loves a woman even though she’s not perfect. This shows how Jesus knows our faults but still loves us. When Thomas realizes how patient and understanding Jesus has been with him, despite his doubts, he is changed.
3. Look at his wounds
What makes Christianity truly powerful is the meaning behind Jesus’ wounds. We often wrestle between wanting to be close to God and wanting to do things our way. The only way to truly change is to know a God who has suffered for us. Seeing Jesus’ wounds not only shows us that He is divine, but also helps us give up our fears, worship Him, and experience a change that no other religion can provide.
4. Drop your conditions
Thomas didn’t want to touch Jesus after He rose from the dead, until he realized he was wrong to put conditions on his faith. Being a real Christian means accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, without any conditions. If we put conditions on our faith, they become false gods. When we see Jesus as a God who was wounded and became human, we can experience a spiritual rebirth and face life’s challenges with God’s help.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer