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May 12, 2011

What Thomas might have said on the night Jesus was betrayed

by Dave Malnes

Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ and famed for his doubting nature, could have been the last to leave the upper room on Passover Eve.  This was the night Jesus was to be betrayed.  In fact, he even told the disciples that he was going to be betrayed and handed over to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.  Mixed emotions and confusion must have fallen on the disciples sitting around the table.  I wonder what they thought as they left the room that eventful night.  In the last of a series, I offer what Thomas might have thought.  I picture him one of the last to leave.  And as he watched Jesus enter into the garden of Gethsemane to pray, he might have stood at a distance and observed his troubled rabbi.  He might have thought,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.”  That’s what Jesus told us tonight.  Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?  To trust?  Look, I’m not a person who trusts very easily.  People need to earn my trust – to prove themselves.  I’m no fool.  I need proof before I can begin to trust another man’s words.

When Jesus had heard that Lazarus was sick and had fallen asleep he decided to come back to Judea.  I thought, “Finally!  Now is the time for him to be the promised Messiah we had been waiting for.  We had seen the miracles, but it’s not enough.  We needed action.  So I said to the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

And now tonight, a night where we should be finalizing plans for him to be the Messiah, Jesus kept talking about going to a different place. And that we, his disciples, would know the way where he is going.  A different place?  Outside of Jerusalem?  So I asked Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way!”  And he said this, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, Thomas, you would know my Father as well.”

If I really knew you?  I’ve been his disciple for the past several years.  I feel like I know him better than anyone I’ve known before.  He’s not just my Lord, he’s my friend.  But he keeps talking in riddles.  I desire to follow Jesus, but I need to know the plan.  I need the details.  He talks in ways that I just can’t see.  I need the plain truth staring me right in the face.  Without evidence, I struggle to trust in what he’s saying or doing.

I remember him telling Martha something when her brother Lazarus had died that has stuck with me.  He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  Then, proceeded to raise Lazarus from the grave and back to life.  How can you not watch this… this miracle and be affected.  I confess I am torn.  My heart believes one thing and my head another.  It is obvious right now that Jesus is not the Messiah I expected him to be, and that’s, well… disappointing.  How am I going to respond?  Will I abandon Jesus, as I have abandoned relationships before when confronted by disappointment?  Do I risk the hurt by taking one more step further in faith?

But I will remain committed to Jesus.  I will stay with him no matter what.  Even though I struggle to believe, I do know that Jesus is my friend and I will give my life to him.  And my trust.”

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