April 14. Reading and Leading Up to Easter. John chapter 20.

Friday, April 14                    John 20

Just As I Am

One of the remarkable aspects of the Bible is the manner in which it describes the foibles and failings of major characters. No one (except the Son of God) escapes the candor about human failings. All Old Testament heroes (David, Moses, Abraham, and on and on) are depicted warts and all. They were great men but also flawed men.

In the New Testament, we find details exposing the weaknesses of virtually every person. If the purpose of New Testament writings was to build confidence toward early church leaders so as to recruit converts, certain stories should simply have been left out: Peter’s denial, John and James’ ambitious schemes, the chronic doubt-fests of these “spiritual giants.”

But, the editors of the New Testament did not desire to whitewash the character of the apostles. This causes me to have greater confidence in the inspiration and authority of Scripture.

Thomas, one of Jesus’ original 12, is legendary for his skepticism. We even have a phrase – “Doubting Thomas” – to describe folks who are slow to believe. He was the last to accept the truth of Jesus’ bodily resurrection.

There is room in Christ’s Kingdom for all kinds of people. From loud-mouths to wall-flowers – from liberals (Matthew) to conservatives (Simon the Zealot) – from early-adopters (Peter) to chronic doubters (Thomas).

Doubts are not wrong or sinful if they push us toward truth. This is Thomas’ story. Early church tradition tells us that he would later become the apostle to India where he died a martyr.

Each of us has our own obstacles that can block our path toward resurrection life. It is wonderful to know that Jesus calls us just as we are. He takes our weaknesses and creates a masterpiece.