I Don’t Know…But God Is Good…As Jesus Revealed Him
Years ago, while visiting my folks at a family reunion, I overheard my mom in the kitchen telling my sister, Aimee, how Thomas was her favorite disciple of Jesus.
I was a little surprised by her choice and thought I’d be clever.
“Mom, I don’t want to be a doubting Thomas, but I’m pretty sure your favorite disciple was the fella with the underwhelming moniker,” I playfully and sarcastically yelled into the kitchen.
My mom came out of the kitchen and gave me a fiery look. One I saw too many times in my youth, a look that releases the awe-inspiring fear of God. “Jason, it’s just horrible we call him that! Think about the Scripture we have because Thomas was bold enough to ask when the others weren’t?”
And just like that, my whole thought about Thomas changed. Thanks, Mom! I am so grateful for your wisdom and understanding!
* * *
Jesus, attempting to prepare His disciples for the coming dark days of His death, tells them, “You know the way to the place where I am going.” 1
And John leans over to Peter and whispers. “Hey, Pete?”
“What?” Peter responds in a whisper yell. Peter was a horrible whisperer.
“Do you know the way to the place Jesus is going?” John asks with sincerity.
Peter furrows his brow, “Of course!”
John raises an eyebrow, “So you have no idea then.”
Peter waves John off brusquely. John is a little concerned, but then he remembers and smiles, “No worries, Thomas will ask Him,” he whispers, and Peter grins.
Then, like clockwork, Thomas asked. And we are all infinitely glad he did.
“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 2
“We don’t know.” It was nice Thomas included the other disciples in his ignorance, but because of his question, we all have an answer, and it’s one of our all-time favorites!
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”
Thomas’ “we don’t know” made room for Jesus to speak to our faith, to highlight the mystery and revelation, “You will know” and “From now on, you do know…” Jesus’ answer is a beautiful invitation to live in the tension of not knowing with a promise of knowing—in the faith of I don’t know…but God is good.
Like always, Jesus is speaking in the infinite, mysterious, trustworthy language of sovereign love.
John and Peter looked at each other after Jesus was finished. They still didn’t understand, but that wasn’t unusual. Jesus was always saying stuff that was not only confusing but also often seriously controversial.
The fact is, most of the time, most of the people listening to Jesus had little to no idea what He was talking about.
One time, Jesus told His followers that they could only experience eternal life if they ate His flesh and drank His blood. A lot of people stopped following Jesus that day. When Jesus asked the twelve disciples if they would leave Him also, Peter famously said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” 3
Interpretation—I don’t know… but God is good, and that’s enough.
Peter, John, Thomas, and many others have revealed that to truly follow Jesus, we must be willing to live in the faith of not knowing and the invitation to know; to “get wisdom. Though it cost all (we) have, get understanding.”
We must embrace the mystery of sovereign love if we are to gain revelation.
In the age of certainty, we are invited to live in the faith of, I don’t know…but God is good…as Jesus revealed Him.
Jesus is the way to where we are going; He is the lens by which to discover wisdom, the key by which to unlock understanding.
I don’t look poorly upon Thomas’ doubt anymore. He was a man of faith willing to live in the tension of the question so he might discover the whole story, the greater revelation. Thomas gave everything up to follow Jesus. Thomas is believed to have shared the gospel of sovereign love, planting churches in Syria, Babylon (Iraq), Persia (Iran), and even into India before dying by a spear, martyred for his profound faith in the way the truth and the life.
1 John 14:4
2 John 14:5-7
3 John 6:68
This article is excerpted from I Don’t Know, But God Is Good, chapter ten of, God Is (Not) In Control: The Whole Story Is Better Than You Think
A Family Story has partnered with TWS (The Writers Society) for the release of this Refreshed Edition.
Available Now At AMAZON.COM
“In God Is (Not) In Control, Jason gives us the liberty to color outside the lines of our many unperceived biases about God. He courageously addresses the “logic of love,” which always leads us on a journey from knowing, to not knowing, to a new knowing…This book is an invitation to those who realize that if we are afraid of the answers, we will never ask the hard questions. I applaud Jason for the courage he’s demonstrated to reintroduce us to a God who is immeasurably good and relentlessly loves us regardless of where we are on our journey.”
—Dr. Randall Worley
Author of Brush Strokes of Grace, Wandering and Wondering, & A Manifesto for Spiritual Searchers