Data is everything! We solve problems from the examination of mountains of information. Weather forecasters use historical data and couple it with present day to make future predictions. Those who predict human behavior use past data, or behavior patterns to predict future behavior. As the old saying goes, it’s hard for a leopard to change its spots.
As a former professor of statistics, the last half of the semester was spent on inferential statistics, that is using data gathered from samples to infer future results. The larger the sample size the better. And as the number of pieces of data increases and approaches infinity, the more the distribution will approach normality (I couldn’t resist causing a few headaches)! Therefore, using the normal curve as a measure of the population is a pretty sound practice.
We want more data, or more information to guide our daily lives. Politicians say, “I don’t have enough information to form an opinion on this matter.” Nine-year-old boys shrug their shoulders and eloquently state “I don’t know” when they don’t have an answer. Some of you are seeing a comedic correlation here, but we must move on.
Sometimes we make snap judgements before we have all the data. Other times we refuse to take a stance until we have every piece of data available! The disciples of Jesus contained both personality types.
There are two disciples who come to mind from the above statement. Peter, the impetuous one, jumped onto the water to walk to Jesus. He was also the first out of the boat, swimming to shore when they spotted the resurrected Lord.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Thomas, or “Doubting Thomas” as we know him. Thomas was not about to decide without all the data. He definitely wasn’t one for a quick decision.
Did Thomas doubt the Lord had risen? Or did he not have faith in the other disciples after he watched them scatter at Jesus’ arrest? We don’t know the mind of Thomas other than he wanted proof, and he was zealous about it.
Thomas was zealous about a lot of things, but most in his support for Jesus. It was Thomas who said, “let us go so we may die with him!” When Jesus said He needed to go back to Judea, even after a near-stoning, it was Thomas who was not hesitant in his support of Jesus.
So, when Thomas said the only way he would believe was to touch the scars and side of Jesus, he was being his usual non-impetuous self. Thomas had a zealousness Jesus could count on.
Are we zealous in our faith? I mean, do we want more proof to satisfy our own questions, or more information about Jesus to share with the world? We should all have a desire to know our risen Savior better. When we want to know more and get closer to Him, it is hardly doubting but rather desire!