Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Sometime back, I walked into a local restaurant. That really hurt. Then I found the door. The young lady who seated me greeted me with "Where's my little girl?"
I'm pretty sure I had never seen this gal before, socially or otherwise. And I was sure that the restaurant management did not make a habit of hiring the mentally-unhinged as wait-staff.
"Um," I responded, "I haven't seen her lately..."
She took my order, and went to the kitchen to get my cup of coffee. Much giggling issued from the kitchen, and when she returned with my coffee, she said, "I'm sorry. You're not who I thought you were. There was this guy in here the other night who looked just like you. He had this cute little girl with him."
Poor guy, to wear my face all his life!

If you go to the Jewish AskMoses website, and click on "scholars," you're presented with a drop-down list of rabbis who help answer people's questions. Rabbi Naftali Silberberg, the editor-in-chief of AskMoses, is my twin. That's his picture at the top of this entry--not mine.

All of this to say, I think I can understand Thomas' skepticism about the resurrection in John 20:24-25. We're told that Thomas is also called "Didymus." Both names mean "twin."
I don't know whether he had a twin sibling or just looked like someone else--a father or uncle, maybe. But this little note sheds some light on Thomas' refusal to believe the other disciples' testimony that they had seen the Lord. Thomas has probably spent his entire life being mistaken for somebody else!
But while this makes his skepticism understandable, it also probably adds credence to his eye-witness testimony. While the others may have wanted to see Jesus and somehow might have hallucinated the appearance, Thomas is unlikely to have done so. The claims of others does not move him to belief! He won't believe until he sees for himself!
I'm glad John mentions Thomas & his doubts. It reminds me that God is big enough for our doubts and questions. He's not offended by healthy skepticism, nor by those who seek proof.

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