When People Don’t Get It

Adria King | October 19, 2018

Thomas.

Most of us know about him. By that I mean we know what he asked for. We call him the doubting disciple. There is not a false sense of meaning in that title. He did doubt. The line Thomas spoke out into the atmosphere that had days before smelt of a crucifixion gets quoted by followers of Jesus often. However, I have started quoting another line from the story.

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” John 20:24-25

Thomas wasn’t there.

Don’t miss the context here. Moments before the disciples had been hiding in a house from fear of the Jewish leaders. Jesus arrives on the scene, speaks peace to them, and the next thing He does is show them His hands and His side [John 20:19-20]. They don’t ask for Him to do this but He does. Thomas then asks for the very thing that Jesus had already shown the others and we send him through the ring of fire.

Thomas wasn’t there.

Imagine it – watching the Son of God hang on cross, seeing Him placed in a tomb, sealed away by a stone, and then having someone claim they had seen Him. When the disciples made the bold declaration, “we have seen the Lord,” they were simultaneously claiming that Jesus had defeated death and was once again alive. Yes, of course He did! This makes sense to us standing on the other side of the story 2000 years later. Thomas though, his response was one that said, “I want to see for myself.” If we were there, I have to think that most of us would have asked for the same thing. In His grace, He lets us ask.

We wonder why people don’t get it. We tell them about Jesus. We have invited them to church. We have posted about Him on our social media feed. Yet, they still aren’t seeing it. We grow frustrated when they don’t get it. We have to remember that as followers of Jesus we have received new sight. We are seeing through the lens of salvation. We have seen Jesus. It makes sense to us. Remember, at one time you weren’t so sure about all of this too. At times, it will require more. We can fall back in discouragement or we can rise up confident that Jesus says by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony we will overcome. We have grown too dependent on other methods when He has laid out our methods of tactics for us.

1. The blood of the lamb.

2. The word of our testimony.

We cannot forget where we once were. If we do, it will obliterate our ability to walk out in the calling of the great commission. If we do, the effectiveness of our spoken words will match that of our silence. We don’t want to be people that use the breath the Lord has put in our lungs to speak in vain. The disciples didn’t tell Thomas where they were when Jesus appeared. They didn’t tell him they had been hiding in fear. Telling people about Jesus has to be an equal balance of where we are now because of Him and where we were without Him. We leave the latter out because we think it makes us look bad but the gospel isn’t about people having a well-polished image of us. It is about them having an accurate image of Jesus.  

What do we do when people aren’t getting it? We tell them more of the story. Sharing your faith can often include sharing your doubts. We cannot teach them and not tell them about how we learned.

Thomas went on to be a missionary in the area of India. I imagine his go to sermon being, “when they told me about Jesus I didn’t believe either. I had to ask to see His hands. I doubted, but then ______”

I wonder how different people’s perspectives would be of Jesus if we let them in on more of the story. If we told them about the houses we have hid in because of fear. If we told them about the conversations we have had with people where we have wanted them to show us their scars, not just their well-polished faith. Thomas’ faith means more to me because I know where he had been. Odds are the same will be true of you.

Adria King is a recent college graduate moving into full time student ministry. She is a lover of all things traveling, tennis shoes, and Justin Bieber. You can keep up with her writing at adriaking.com or by following her on Instagram @adriaking.

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