Comments about ‘Reader voices: Was Thomas doubtful or just realistic?’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 17 2013 1:05 p.m. MST

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donn
layton, UT

Re;Christ lovingly beckons us. He does not reproach us for our lack of faith. He will answer our questions.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a Spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have(Luke 24:39 )

God [is] Spirit =(pneuma)( John 4:24 Greek N.T.)

J S, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son? First, he is a personage of tabernacle.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Thank you.

I have often thought that we give Thomas a bad rap as we do with Peter as well.

With the benefit of perspective, we often think negatively of Thomas or of Peter. Surely we would never be faithless, right?

As the author indicates, I appreciate the stories of flawed men and women in gospel history. It gives me hope that I too can rise the to challenges ahead of me.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What a wonderful article. Thanks for printing it. To those of us who "ponder", it will be the basis for many enlightening conversations.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@donn

Not mentioning a quality or characteristic of a person,

doesn't mean that that person lacks or doesn't possess that quality or characteristic.

And for Jesus to have perfection and Godhood like his father he would have to have every characteristic and quality of his Father, no more and no less,

or he not be like the Father, he not have the same perfection as his Father and therefore not perfect as his Father,

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Back to article, the scriptures quite clearly say that Jesus says of Thomas that Thomas lacked faith.

Thomas did not believe what the other apostles has told him, he did not have faith, it had nothing to do with being 'realistic' or Jesus would have said differently.

Thoughts of Home
Forest Grove, OR

One of the stories of Thomas that most overlook, or never notice, is found in John 11, the most significant verse being nubmer 16. This is just prior to Jesus going to raise Lazarus. The disciples are worried sick that the Savior plans to travel back to Judea since the people there had recently wanted to stone Him. When it becomes apparent that Jesus is going to return, though, John records this: "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." That Thomas "doubts" the account of his friends and fellow apostles later is all that most remember which is tragic because he was the one to only weeks early state his willingness to die with Him. Also, few recall that it took the Savior appearing to the others before they were willing to believe the testimony of the women who'd gone to the tomb first, though John seems to believe them on finding the tomb empty. Thomas was no more a doubter than the others were, was a man of faith as much as they were, and hopefully can be remembered as such.

Swiss
Price, Utah

Yes, let us not judge Thomas as the world simplifies his life to one instance.
Let us regard Thomas with all the scriptures tell us about him.
Where Thomas went when the Apostles scattered tells us even more about this man ofsupposed little faith.

The Atheist
Provo, UT

I am not so easily fooled as was my naive twin brother, Thomas.

hoping
Holladay, UT

As was pointed out Thomas was no different than the others. He did not doubt his Savior; he had his doubts about others of fellow human beings. Faith is a gift, if we will accept it. Too many of us doubt both the gift and the giver of the gift. Exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if [we] can no more than desire to believe… I don't know how much easier the Lord can make it for us. We really shouldn't expect Him to do everything, should we?

kargirl
Sacramento, CA

Just because Thomas didn't have faith in his fellow disciples didn't mean he didn't have faith that Jesus could rise after he had been crucified. Look how hard it was for those who experienced the actual presence and teachings of Jesus to accept Him. No doubt they took him as we often take today's spiritual leaders, yet many also recognized who He was, and Thomas certainly did, as did the others. We, today, without His actual presence, without seeing Him in real time, hearing His actual voice, do we, really, believe as fully as Thomas? He, at least, knew what proof he would require, and it wasn't as much as many today require. Just my thoughts.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Thomas has always been my hero among all the disciples as he is the clearest example of what distinguishes justified faith from blind faith.

I wonder how much misery the world could have avoided had Thomas' example been held up as a model of how to be faithful while simultaneously using our God given intellects by maintaining healthy skepticism and rightful demands for evidence.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Thomas’ skepticism of hearsay reports that Jesus had risen from the dead stands out in the gospel of John. It doesn’t reflect negatively on Thomas. It makes him sound more authentic. It's striking that Jesus does not reprove Thomas for his initial incredulity.

observator
east of the snake river, ID

Luke 24:38-41 (emphasis added)

38 ...And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do athoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they YET BELIEVED NOT FOR JOY, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

Seems to me Thomas didn't have any more trouble than the other disciples did. Indeed, the others believed not in spite of what they saw and heard, in the beginning. We ought to give Thomas credit for believing on first sight.

GeoMan
SALEM, OR

I find it interesting the "The Atheist" seems to be asserting that even if presented physical evidence he/she would not believe. That would seem to be the epitome of "faith in something that doesn't exist." Thus we see that he/she is just the same as he/she claims that believers are.
As for "Red Corvette," he/she is not so different from Thomas. Thomas said that except he should experience the resurrected Lord with his senses, he would not believe. "Red Corvette" states that he too won't believe something that isn't based on his/her senses (nonsense).
Given how easily fooled our senses are, it is interesting how much faith people put in them (myself included). Our senses are very useful, but they are most decidedly not "fool" proof.

oldschool
Farmington, UT

Not only were the first apostles flawed men, but many Mormons seem to forget that leaders from Joseph Smith to the current apostles and leaders are also men who have made mistakes and continue to make mistakes. Some church members seem to lose their faith when a church leader says something that is obviously wrong or is in direct contradiction to something another church leader might have said. I have no doubt that the apostles and the members of the first presidency are men who are called of God to receive revelations pertinent to our generation and to lead the church through the promptings of the holy spirit. That doesn't mean they are infallible. I am not one to murmur against my leaders; rather, I have faith that my leaders from President Monson down to my local priesthood leaders are striving to do the will of the Lord, and it is incumbent upon me to perform my duties and to live the gospel as well as I can. I do not question my bishop if he calls an imperfect person to a position. It is not my job to question that, for we are all imperfect.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@GeoMan – “Given how easily fooled our senses are, it is interesting how much faith people put in them (myself included). Our senses are very useful, but they are most decidedly not "fool" proof.”

Not sure that’s really the issue for most non-believers. It would be incredibly easy for Jesus to “prove” he is who the gospels claim (a 5 minute demonstration of God-like powers would suffice), and in doing so Christianity would go from being a religion/myth to a science over night.

The real issue is that most non-believers simply don’t buy the collection of writings made by highly superstitious Iron Age shepherds and fishermen who had virtually no correct explanations for how almost anything in the world happened (sickness, death, the weather, etc, etc, etc…).

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