Stop Doubting and Believe
Briefing: What do you have doubts about? It is easier for me to look at what I do not have doubts about. What do you have absolute faith about?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 20:24-31.
On the Street: When we left the disciples in the last section (John 20:19-23) they were “overjoyed” and had received the Holy Spirit. So why do we find them hiding again? Jesus told them to have peace and go, yet here they are a week later, locked in a room.
The focus of this account shifts to Thomas. Thomas was actually a very courageous man. He was willing to go with Jesus to Jerusalem, even if it meant certain death (John 11:16). I believe at this time Thomas was still courageous but with doubts. As peace officers, you too are men and women of courage. In order to successfully perform the duties of a peace officer you have to have a level of courage. The big difference in this story and the last story was the fear factor. In the last story, the disciples were hiding out of fear. In this story, we see a man of courage who is not afraid of dying for Jesus, but he has doubts and uncertainties about his past experiences.
Have you ever found yourself doubting things you had previously been certain of, a perceived failure which causes a loss in confidence? Thomas thought he knew what following Jesus was leading to. When Jesus was crucified, Thomas did not understand it was part of God’s plan. He, like the other disciples, expected Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom and overthrow the Roman occupation. He was expecting an earthly king, like David, to restore Israel to its former glory. Now he was doubting everything he had seen or heard for the last three years.
Jesus comes back to show Thomas that everything he had heard and seen, while in Jesus’ presence, was truth. Jesus didn’t write Thomas off because he had doubts.
It is so incredible to see how Jesus prepared His disciples for every trial and doubt they would encounter. If we look back to John 16:33 Jesus told the disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Again Jesus inserts His peace.
We will all have seasons of doubt but we must anchor ourselves in the Truth of God’s Word. In the words of Jesus, “Stop doubting and believe”.
Investigational Resources: There are more verses and passages to reassure you than I have space for. The one that comes to mind is 2 Peter 3:9. If you were born, God desires to have you come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. God wants you!
Officer Safety Principle: The only truth, the only absolute, the only thing that will not disappoint is Jesus. The only area of our lives where there should be no doubt is Jesus’ love for you and His desire to bring you into His family of believers. You can take that to the bank.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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