One of my more memorable Sunday School stories is that of Thomas (also called Didymus in Greek, or Twin) and dubbed “Doubting Thomas”. We learned this story, not to emulate, but rather to not be a doubting Thomas.
But then, we have churches named St. Thomas, which means he must not have been a bad influence.
Looking at the story in John 20:24-28 we see Jesus appearing to his disciples after the resurrection. It is quite an amazing experience for the disciples. Unfortunately, Thomas is not there, he misses the experience. So, when he shows up, the ten disciples share with him the amazing story. “Jesus appeared to us”, they tell him, unable to contain their excitement.
In today’s parlance, Thomas must have remarked: “You’ve got to be kidding me! Right?”
“It’s true!” they responded. “He really appeared to us!”
“I won’t believe it”, Thomas would have said. “Not until I see those wounds and actually feel them with my own hands”.
Indeed, at his own timing, Jesus obliges Thomas when he appears again. Thomas gets the chance to feel Jesus wounds, and he is transformed from saying, “I don’t believe”, into declaring, “My Lord and my God!”
So, what transforming experience have you seen in your life? May be, like Thomas, you have tested, touched, felt, or even tasted and have seen transformation. Or may be, like the ten disciples, you had an “aha” moment. Whatever it was, it is to be shared with others so that they too can be transformed. And that is how the world is transformed.
One of the most inspiring moments at City Gospel Mission is the graduation from the Exodus Program. Most men enter the program with doubts or even clue-less. It is a wife, a mother, a relative or a friend who nudges and urges them. But they get the chance to test, touch, feel and see. Then they are transformed, and urged in turn to go out and share their story and let the ripple effect of transformation continue.