“Do Not Be Unbelieving”

“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’” (John 20:27)

The rebuke Jesus gave to Thomas after he expressed doubts about His resurrection is probably a pretty good word for some of us today. Thomas doubted the report the other disciples had made about Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus told him that he should not “be unbelieving, but believing.” 

In the original language this is literally “do not become unbelieving, but believing.” (Vincent)  It seems to refer not only to a one-time doubt, but to an ongoing disposition.  In other words, do not be a person who “tends to disbelieve”, but be a person who tends TO believe.

This is VERY applicable to us as Jesus’ followers today. Even as Christians, it is easy to allow a very skeptical, doubtful attitude to characterize us. Especially when we have been hurt, or disappointed either by the Lord’s people — or even by what we might have expected from the Lord Himself but did not receive — we can fall into a negative, doubt-filled perspective.

But Jesus encourages us here not to succumb to such an outlook. “Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Don’t doubt everything. Don’t just expect another failure. Don’t be surprised when God comes through, or a prayer is answered. Remember “without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6).  Don’t let your life be characterized by doubt, but by faith.  His message to us is the same as it was to Thomas: “Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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