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“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.”
– Antony Jay
Another important part about Thomas is that he, along with the other apostles, was chosen to spread the gospel after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
This was a very large weight of responsibility.
If it were me, I would have wanted someone on my team who doesn’t just accept instructions or orders, but challenges them and is not afraid to ask the hard questions to gain a better understanding of this enormous mission we’re about to be thrust into.
In addition to his new job description of spreading the Good News about Jesus, “the Apostle Thomas is singled out in the gospels because he put his doubt into words. It is worth noting that Jesus did not scold Thomas for his doubt. In fact, Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds and see for himself.” (1)
How do you put “doubt into words?”
By asking questions.
This is what Thomas did and it was his great question-asking ability that the Bible speaks most highly about him.
The asking of questions brings clarity where there was once doubt, and for Thomas this leads to his full belief in God.
As Whitney Hopler says, “Thomas’ encounter with Jesus shows how the right response to doubt — curiosity and searching — can lead to deep belief.” (2)
By asking questions, it reveals to those listening that we are actually thinking and are the ones who are learning.
It is not the asking of questions that is wrong.
Rather, the refusal to seek out answers to those questions demonstrates a person who really isn’t all that interested in the learning and growing process, that is, in becoming a better person.
Asking questions is not wrong; rather, it is asking no questions that is foolish.
Dr. Steven Wilson has this to say about Thomas:
”Thomas would speak to doubters today, to those of us who have seen our hopes and dreams destroyed…Thomas would tell his story of how Jesus’ life had intercepted his own. He would tell us of his fears and his doubts. And then, with a radiant, joyful face, St. Thomas, Apostle to India, would recount his joy at seeing and knowing the risen Jesus himself. “My Lord and my God!” he would say. ‘My Lord and my God!’” (3)
Thomas, though he walked the earth in Biblical times, his influence is still talked about in our day, more than 2,000 years later.
That’s two millennia’s – way more than the human mind can fathom in time relation.
His life left an impact on his generation, and for all those generations in the centuries to come after his departure of this world.
As Whitney Hopler records, “[Thomas’] inquisitive mind led him to naturally doubt God’s work in the world, but also led him to pursue answers to his questions, which ultimately led him to great faith.” (4)
And therein lies the key.
The act of asking questions is not just in putting them forth.
Nor is to ask an entire string of open-ended questions. What good is that?
The purpose is to seek answers for your questions, each and every one of them.
You can think of it as a three-step approach:
Step 1: Ask a meaningful, thought-provoking question.
Step 2: Diligently investigate a truth-compelling answer to your question.
Step 3: Repeat Step 1 & 2, throughout your life.
(1) “The Apostle Known as Doubting Thomas,” http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Apostle-Thomas.htm.
(2) “Who Was Saint Thomas the Apostle?,” http://angels.about.com/od/MiraclesReligiousTexts/p/Who-Was-Saint-Thomas-The-Apostle.htm.
(3) “Learning Faith from Doubting Thomas,” last modified 2003, http://www.leaderu.com/theology/doubting_thomas.html.
(4) “Who Was Saint Thomas the Apostle?,” http://angels.about.com/od/MiraclesReligiousTexts/p/Who-Was-Saint-Thomas-The-Apostle.htm.