How is doubting different than unbelief?


Have you ever wondered why, since both Thomas and Judas appeared to doubt Jesus, their stories have such different endings?

Judas, after he proved unfaithful, “went out and hanged himself.” Thomas, however, knelt before Jesus and declared, “My Lord and my God.”

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The evening of the Passover meal which Jesus shared with His disciples gives us so much insight into the Lord and His apostles. (John 13) This was an evening like no other on earth would be. Every word, every act, is significant.

During the Passover meal Jesus did something that puzzled Peter and perhaps some of the others:

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:5

Peter became upset:

Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” John 13:6

Christ answer to Peter was absolute.

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” John 13:6

Jesus then went further with His explanation and it is something we all need to hear.

Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.

Thomas and Judas were both present that evening. Everyone in the room was “clean” except, as we soon learn, Judas.

Here is Christ’s message to all people. We have either been washed clean by Him and are in right standing before God or we are still in our sins and are unclean. Those who are not washed will not be able to stand in the presence of a Holy God.

The Bible teaches that Jesus, the Lamb of God, was slain before the foundation of the world. So both Judas and Thomas, who knew Him during His earthly visitation, either believed or disbelieved.  They had trusted or failed to trust and as a result were either clean or unclean. Those who are clean worship the true God and have their names written in the Book of Life. Those who refuse Christ are still in their sins, their names are not written in the Book of Life, and they will worship the anti-Christ.

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming His name and His dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13: 5-8

To avoid this, we must accept and believe in the Light of the world and be cleansed by His blood.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:15

What can we take away from this? There is a great difference in doubting and refusing to place our trust in Christ. Perhaps all Christians are like Thomas at some point. Doubt may creep into our lives. It even happened to John the Baptist while he was in prison. Jesus understands this and He will reveal to us whatever we need to restore the faith that we  exercised in Him when we confessed Him as Lord and Savior. Refusing Christ, however, is another story. This is unbelief. Those who refuse are in effect saying they will find their own way. These refuse to confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord. They have never believed in their heart and they are not clean. They do not believe Romans 5:7-9

5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. 6For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him! Romans 5: 7-9

Thomas believed this, Judas did not.

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About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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