“As you go into all the world…” Then Jesus ascended and disciples scattered.
Both men named James stayed in Jerusalem with Simon, John, and Matthew
Peter eventually left Jerusalem for Italy.
Andrew set off to tell the people of modern day Bulgaria and Georgia about Jesus.
Phillip traveled to Turkey.
Judas, also known as Thaddeus, headed for Greece.
And which disciple went the farthest into all the world?
I stood in a church he founded. Packed with children singing songs to God, praying prayers, learning to read and write. Mar Thoma etched in the stone crossbeam of its entrance. Church of Thomas.
From Jerusalem to the far side of India. 4,137 miles.
“Doubting Thomas” wasn’t a doubter. Doubt is the slipping of conviction. Thomas was a skeptic.
A skeptic clings stubbornly to his conviction.
Thomas was convinced Jesus was dead. He heard Him speak His last words, breathe His last breath. He was certain of it.
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.” 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.”
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Persuade the already sympathetic to your cause and you get the gift you’re after. But change the heart and mind of a skeptic and you get an advocate eager to go farther.
Don’t give up on the skeptic. Give him proof. Show him, teach him, patiently pray for him. And when he’s convinced? Follow him “into all the world.”