We tend to remember people for who they are or were. Sometimes we remember people for what they said, how they lived. But sometimes the reputation of a person can be deceptive, undeserved, or completely wrong.
Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus, I believe, an undeserved reputation. Thomas is often referred to as “Doubting Thomas.” Why? We pick up the story already in progress to learn how Thomas received his reputation; “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, We have seen the Lord! But he (Thomas) said to them, Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:24-25).
The next time Jesus appeared to the disciple Thomas experienced the proof that Jesus was alive; “After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said Peace be with you. Then He said to Thomas, Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put It into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord, and my God! (John 20:26-27). Thomas simply wanted proof that Jesus resurrected and for this he is known as “Doubting Thomas.”
There are others in the Bible who also with reputations we can learn from. What do you really know about a person based on their reputation?
Moses, who had to deal with the fact that he killed another man out of anger, revenge. Reading and studying the life story of Moses is fascinating helps us understand how God deals with us.
The apostle Paul, had the reputation of persecuted the Jews who followed after Jesus Christ. It was on the road to Damascus (Acts chapter 9) that God dealt with Pauls’ reputation.
Samson, another earned his reputation as a womanizer and filled with pride. It is unfortunate that God must go to such lengths of correcting us as He did with Samson (Judges 13-16).
Richard M. Nixon is forever known for the Watergate Hotel Burglary. But he had nothing to do with the break in and did not know of it. It was the coverup, the deception after the fact that he was a part of that brought his resignation as president.
Alfred Nobel is known for creating and funding the Nobel Peace Prize – but do you know he made his fortune and fame by inventing and manufacturing dynamite and nitroglycerin. Nobel left most of his fortune to fund physics, chemistry, medicine or physiology, literature, and peace. Nobel changed his reputation from that of producing death and destruction to that of pursuing peace.