It is so fitting that John would conclude his gospel account with Thomas’s doubt and Peter’s restoration [John 21]. Jesus’ gentle response to that doubt and firm reinstatement of Peter after his denial makes a resounding point to us all. Doubt is a normative part of life with Jesus – so Jesus’ grace and kindness is our only hope.
We are going to have doubts. We are going to be afraid and fail. Jesus knows we are going to be weak. Don’t hate yourself for it, because Jesus doesn’t hate you for it. He knows our weakness and doesn’t condemn us for it – He has love and compassion for us.
Apostle John, who is well advanced in years at the time of his writing this, knows all too well the necessity of navigating doubts. Surely, he had moments in his own life, and undoubtedly, he walked alongside many others in their own questions and faithless times. The ending of his letter addresses this reality.
Thomas doubts, Peter failed, and still, Jesus loves them. In case the eyewitness testimony that proceeded this for 20 chapters left you still wondering, John confirms that Jesus did many other marvelous and miraculous things that aren’t recorded here. So much so that perhaps the world could not contain the books if they were all written down (John 21:25).
May your doubts make you more reliant on Jesus’ grace and mercy. May your doubts remind you of your own weakness and that in His great love, He did not give up on us even when we want to give up on Him. May your doubts humble you so that you can receive His great love for you.
Write out, one at a time, your doubts and failures, and then after each item write, “still He loves me.”