April 23

John 19:26-29

“Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’” vss. 28-29

While John does make mention in his gospel of the anonymous “Beloved Disciple,” the disciple most beloved by many Christians is Thomas. After all it’s his story that most closely resonates with their own as they seek to make sense of Jesus’ resurrection. Like him these followers of Jesus are literalists who feel like they’ve missed out on what others have experienced and they crave assurance. Many of us know that feeling. Unfortunately unlike Thomas we don’t get a personal visit from Jesus in response to our doubts. What is truly miraculous then is that billions of people have indeed come to believe in the Risen Christ–even without seeing! One of the reasons for this is that being a literalist isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! In fact, as Thomas found out, being a literalist means we miss out on all the good stuff the Universe has to offer. As John puts it so well, it’s those who have not seen and who yet believe who get the blessings. We’re the ones who hope in the face of despair, who rejoice in the presence of suffering, and who know how to live when death draws near. So no wonder so many Doubting Thomas’s have chosen to believe–it’s the only way to find peace in this crazy mixed-up world!

Thought for the Day: Why is literalism so popular among Christians?

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