Growing up, I always thought it would be fun to have a twin. Those who are twins might beg to disagree, but I imagined that having a built-in best friend, someone who inherently understood me, and a companion to walk through life with sounded awesome. Did you know that one of Jesus’ disciples was a twin? John told us so. He wrote, “Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.” (John 20:24)

We call Thomas “Doubting Thomas,” but he had a moniker before he obtained that unfortunate nickname. He was called “The Twin”. Which begs the question, where was his twin? Who was his twin? There’s not a lot of consensus on that, but I think I know. He’s my twin… he’s your twin!

I can remember when I first started following Jesus. I began reading through the Old Testament and I was struggling with some of the stories. The people of God seemed a bit fickle in their devotion. Everybody fell short of what God asked them to do. I was growing a bit disillusioned, so I asked a mentor of mine to help me understand how to read these accounts in a way that would bring life. His advice was so good. He told me we really can’t hear the stories of the Bible until we hear them as stories about ourselves. He suggested that we have to imagine our way into them.

The story of Thomas is a story we read best when we read it, nodding our heads, whispering “Me too.” I too want to know for certain. I too want to put my hands in his side. I want to have a divine encounter with Jesus. I’m Thomas’ twin. Some people receive a revelation of Jesus that changes everything. There are numerous stories of Muslims coming to faith in Jesus because Jesus meets them in a dream. If you’re interested in some breathtaking stories of encounters, I’d suggest a book called A Wind in the House of Islam by David Garrison. It will fuel your faith.

However, others don’t seem to get the kind of proof they’re looking for. It’s to those people Jesus speaks a blessing saying, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) When Jesus meets us in our questions and doubts, he doesn’t leave us to wallow in our uncertainty and he doesn’t chastise us for our human frailty. He teaches us in the middle of the night like Nicodemus, he runs to us on the road like the Prodigal Father, he heals us as we cry out, “Help my unbelief,” he reaches down to save us as we’re sinking in the water, and he tenderly shows us his scars and proclaims, “It’s really me.”

So today, maybe you name Thomas as your twin; but don’t only follow him into his doubt, follow him into his faith. Follow him in meeting the Risen Messiah and bowing in reverence at his nail-scarred feet.

Pastor Ryan Paulson

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