Happenings, News

‘I was much more secure with Jesus’

Voices from Scripture” is a work of fiction based on some references in Scripture to “minor” characters. As the Bible gives us few lines about these people, this series imagines what they would have been like, their personality, and what their thoughts could have been in the situations mentioned. It is hoped that as the different characters and situations come alive, the Bible also becomes more real, and we grow in our faith and discipleship.

A tradition in church history tells us that Thomas went to India and started the church there.

Voices from Scripture: Thomas

WHEN you hang out with people who are cleverer than you, you always feel like you need to keep up with them, that you need to “perform”, although the Master always said that I didn’t have to do that.

And when I am with Him, I do believe it because He had a way of looking at you, and you just knew that He accepted and loved you. I was much more secure with Him and one or two of the others; but honestly Peter sometimes just exasperated me, constantly shooting off his mouth!

I do prefer John – he may be a Son of Thunder, and yet he could be wonderfully gentle and understanding. James was a bit stodgy, but you knew you could depend on him in difficult times. You should have seen him manage the boat during the storms in the Lake of Galilee. And yet … the Master just had to say the word and the wind stood still and the waves were quiet.

Looking back, we realise how dense we were not seeing who the Master really was. Especially since seeing is believing for me. And we had gone through so much with Him, watching Him heal; and He had a way of making stories come alive so that you looked at people and the world in a new way. Then He allowed us to do the work and we saw people healed, demons submit … wow! You should have seen it!

But there was once when Nathaniel, Judas and I tried so hard, yet we just couldn’t get rid of this demon in a young boy and in fact the boy began to get worse! Fortunately Jesus came just then and delivered the boy. That was a lesson for us not to get too sure of ourselves, but to pray and to trust in His name, and not on our own strength.

But all that was still not enough for me. Because, when the Master was killed, everything came tumbling down. Have you felt like that before? You put all your hopes and dreams on someone, and then everything comes crashing when he doesn’t act according to your plans? I realised then that those were my plans, my dreams and I had my own ideas about the kingdom of God. The Master crucified didn’t fit then; but now, the Master resurrected, that is different!

I was so stuck in my own world, and my own thinking, so that when John and the others told me that they had seen the Master alive, I didn’t believe them. So He graciously, mercifully, lovingly, showed Himself to me, and once again, seeing is believing. But He rebuked me too, and said “blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed”.

So you could consider yourselves specially blessed because you believe without seeing. That is faith. Meanwhile, I have a mission to do for my Master.
(Synoptic Gospels, John 20: 24 – 29).

Kwa Kiem Kiok, a member of Trinity Methodist Church, is on sabbatical at Asbury Theological College in the United States.