Monday, May 01, 2006

The Gardener #3 - Thomas

You know, work’s been pretty slow the past couple of weeks since the whole Jesus coming back from the dead thing. The whole city’s been getting whipped up about it. Rumours and stories about Jesus are flying round left, right and centre. I guess people have got better things on their mind than the current state of their garden. It’s alright. I could do with the rest. Put me feet up. Catch up on all the gossip. And there’s been a lot of gossip.

For example, one of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas (some people call him Didymus – I’m not sure why). People have been laying into him the past couple of days. Basically, the story goes: Jesus appears to his disciples while Thomas is out, I dunno, buying eggs or something. Now when Thomas gets back obviously all the disciples are all excited and they’re telling him about it and he won’t believe them. He thinks they’ve been conned by some Jesus lookalike Stars in Their Eyes contestant or something I dunno. And he says to them, he goes “I will not believe that Jesus is back until I have seen the holes in his hands and side. Until I have physically touched them, I will not believe that it’s Jesus you’ve seen.”

Now a week later Jesus appears to the disciples again and this time Thomas is with them. And apparently Jesus makes a beeline for Thomas. And he looks at him and he says “you wanted to see them well here they are. Touch them, do what you have to but believe. Know that I’m here. Know that this is real.” And then he said to him “you needed this to believe. But there are millions of people out there who are going to have to believe and they won’t get this. They won’t get this. And I’m going to bless those people”.

And people have been criticising Thomas since word got out about it calling him faithless and disloyal and saying that he should’ve believed… But I met Thomas a couple of times. He’s a good guy you know? And he was completely loyal to Jesus. I mean he gave up everything to follow him. He believed so much in Jesus and in Jesus’ mission that he devoted his whole life to it. And maybe that was the problem. I mean imagine it… he’s given up everything he has to follow a man who he believes – who he’s been promised – is going to change the world. And imagine seeing that man humiliated and killed by the very institution that he said he was going to destroy and rebuild. I mean hey, we know what happens next right? But as far as Thomas is concerned everything that he’s believed in has let him down. You put yourself in that position. My guess is you’d be a little more reluctant to hang your hopes on outrageous stories no matter who they came from.

People round these parts might not understand that. But Jesus understood. I mean he turned up. He showed himself. I don’t think he’d have done that if he thought Thomas was just being petty. But he also understood that people are going to have to follow him without ever seeing him in the physical sense. And he understood – understands – that that won’t be easy. It won’t be easy.

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