Doubting Thomas…That is what we call him anyway. Traditionally the reading for the Sunday after Easter is what we call the story of doubting Thomas. I find in fascinating that we pick this reading for after Easter and that we call him by this name. Its like we only remember the worst thing about him and run with it. What is most fascinating to me in the text is Jesus doesn’t give him that name. It is what you and I have named him. We took his worst moment in the Gospels and attached that to him for his lifetime and throughout history.
I remember back to my life as a grade school/Middles school student and I am glad that I am not named weird Steve, quiet Steve, or stupid Steve…Well I suppose I could have been called all those things at one point or another in my life and actually probably far worse if I really knew what people thought of me as young person. I have called myself far worse in my head. I am glad this thing called Facebook wasn’t around and my mother has very few pictures of me to remember all the awful things I ever did as a child because back then we didnt take a picture/video of every dumb thing we ever did.
What is every time you walked around this world everyone only remembered you for the worst thing you ever did? I know some of us think that is the way we are supposed to be. You see we take our worst sin and have a hard time letting it go. We walk around day and night just holding onto that sin. We make it our name badge. We sometimes even share it with others. It might be the sin of hatred, or something truly evil we did as a child, teen, or young adult. It might be we think of ourselves as divorcee, bully, or terrible parent. We all walk around with baggage.
I will tell you this, as I remind myself on daily basis, my name is not stupid Steve. You and I are not named after our worst mistake we are called beloved. My name is the one who Jesus loved. I can try to make my name something else or try to make it more than that, but ultimately it is the name Jesus calls me. The name he gave me when he called me his own in my baptism. May we all remember what our real name is today. If you are walking around thinking of your name as something other than loved than let me remind you that your are the one whom Jesus loved!
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:24-28 ESV