Photo taken by Sarah Van Middlesworth from afar, while the author ski’s the ridge at Fernie Ski Resort, B.C.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
“There is an important lesson to be gained from studying Thomas,” writes Mary Fairchild. “If we’re truly seeking to know the truth, and we’re honest with ourselves and others about our struggles and doubts, God will faithfully meet us and reveal himself to us, just as he did for Thomas.” (1)
So, go ahead, ask your questions.
About anything – God, the opposite sex, your place in this world, or anything else you’re wondering about or curious about.
It is safe to ask heartfelt questions.
Therefore, find a safe place or person to do this with.
Whitney Hopler also mentions that “God performed many miracles through Thomas to help the people with whom Thomas shared the Gospel message — in Syria, Persia, and India — believe, according to Christian tradition.” (2)
In your quest to find answers to questions that are important to you, God will use you through this process to help other people, as he did Thomas.
This is encouraging as God doesn’t just give us something for our own purposes, but also for the purposes of other people.
People like being helped.
I almost feel I shouldn’t have to put this in here, as it kind of goes without saying.
How cool would it be for the Creator to use you, His creation, for another creature of His?
Anyway, Thomas asked a ton of questions. So what?
What actually comes of him?
“Doubting Thomas does not stay a doubter. When he sees the risen Jesus, all that Jesus has taught over the years now clicks in, and to his death Thomas is an outspoken advocate for his Lord. Church tradition tells us that he preaches in ancient Babylon, near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, where Iraq is today. He travels to Persia, present-day Iran, and continues to win disciples to the Christian faith. Then he sails south to Malabar on the west coast of India in 52 AD. He preaches, establishes churches, and wins to Christ high caste Brahmins, as well as others. When the Portuguese land in India in the early 1600s, they find a group of Christians there — the Mar Thoma Church established through Thomas’ preaching a millennium and a half before. Finally, Thomas travels to the east coast of India, preaching relentlessly.” (3)
And how did Thomas die?
“Right before his death in 72 AD, Thomas stood up to an Indian king (whose wife had become a Christian) when he pressured Thomas to make religious sacrifices to an idol. Miraculously, the idol shattered into pieces when Thomas was forced to approach it. The king was so enraged that he ordered his high priest to kill Thomas, and he did: Thomas died from being pierced by a spear, but was reunited with Jesus in heaven.” (4)
Another source tells us that he died “near present-day Madras. Tradition tells us that he is thrown into a pit, then pierced through with a spear thrown by a Brahmin. He who had so fervently proclaimed his unbelief carried the Christian message of love and forgiveness to the ends of the earth in his generation.” (5)
I’m not saying you’re going to die if you ask questions.
What I am saying is the courage that Thomas gained from asking his questions before Jesus and other people, is the same courage that enabled him to stand up for his Saviour in the opposition of the evil king of India.
Here’s the point: Question’s stiffen the spine of the one asking, as well as those listening, for oftentimes they too had the same question but were all too afraid to ask it.
(1) “The 12 Apostles,” http://christianity.about.com/od/peopleofthebible/tp/12-Apostles.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?”
(5) “Learning Faith from Doubting Thomas.”