Maybe you’ve heard of the acronym – FOMO? It stands for the phrase “Fear of Missing Out.” It speaks to the experiential nature of our culture. It’s the idea that something hasn’t truly happened unless it’s posted on Instagram\Facebook\Twitter.
Funny enough, research shows all the digital memory taking we do (photos, video, etc) actually leads to less memories. In our rush to FOMO and experience via social media we remember less.
“Did it really happen?”
One of the more famous stories from the Gospels is a question of “Did it really happen?” It’s about experience. It’s about FOMO. It’s about Thomas.
24One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”26Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”28“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.29Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
No FOMO, Thomas literally missed out. He missed seeing Jesus, so he expressed doubt. Why? He wanted an experience. Because of this, history labeled him as Doubting Thomas.
In his grace, Jesus doesn’t rebuke Thomas for his doubt, disappointment, questions. He merely addressed them. Better yet, he gives Thomas an experience. Take a look…what do you see? Now believe.
There is a bit of a debate between Protestant and Catholic theologians. Did Thomas actually touch Jesus? Protestants believe no, it’s a “faith alone” issue. Catholics argue yes, physical experience is crucial to connecting with Jesus.
No matter, this experience radically impacts Thomas in three ways.
Thomas makes a deep, theological statement of faith. Jesus is more than Messiah, Savior, King. He is God. Without doubt, there can’t be equally strong faith. Thomas’ doubt led him to make this powerful statement of faith.
Doubt is a gateway to faith.
Thomas took his faith and obeyed Jesus’ command to go (Matthew 28:18-20). He went, shared the gospel, and made disciples. According to history, Thomas was the first missionary to India, establishing the church there. When Portugal discovered India in the 16th century, they found the church alive and well – 1500 years later!
Resolved doubt transforms faith into action.
Tradition tells us Thomas was thrown into a pit and stabbed with spears by the people he was evangelizing. His faith took him to a place of ultimate surrender.
Actions of faith develop legacy.
Doubt to Faith
We all deal with doubts.
- Was it real?
- Why did that happen?
- Where was God when…?
Our fate lies in what we do with these doubts. Jesus asks us to take our doubts to him. He wants us to wait on him, so we can experience Jesus. It isn’t always quick. Thomas waited a week, which must have felt like an eternity as he was still in hiding.
If and when you doubt, take it to Jesus and wait. Don’t miss out on what God has for you – faith, action & legacy!