The preacher said that he envied the disciples of Jesus in general and the Apostle Paul in particular. ‘Wouldn’t it be great to be a Christian who had no doubts, ever?’ he went on.
‘If I had seen Jesus as they did, rubbed shoulders with him, seen his miracles, heard his voice, I would have no doubts. I would know.’
Perhaps many of us think this way; you would know beyond doubt that you had been singled out by God for a special task if you had been knocked off your horse as Paul was, if you’d seen a bright light in the heavens, heard a thundering voice; ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will!’
But is that the case? Well, the fickleness of human nature is such that when Jesus was finally arrested and placed on his show-trial, he had been deserted by everyone, and the man who promised, ‘Lord the rest of them will leave you, but me? Never!’ swore blind that he had never even seen the Master.
The same one; Peter, a close confidante, a trusted friend, he who climbed out of the boat to walk on a stormy Galilee to be with his Lord was the one who the very day after the crucifixion was heard to say, ‘Not sure about you lot but I’m going back to my fishing business.’
So for me there are two points to note here. Firstly, to doubt is normal; that’s the life of faith.
Jesus himself said to Pontius Pilate, ‘What is truth?’ a most profound question.
There are those in the world of post modern relativism who say, ‘There is no truth, only perspectives.’ I prefer the words of Gido Shoseki, the 19th century Zen Master who said, ‘Without faith there is no truth.’
The second point to note is what Jesus said to ‘doubting Thomas’; and it gives me enormous comfort and strength in my moments of weakness.
He said: ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’
Nice to know that there’s a special blessing from the Master for the likes of you and me.