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Yahweh is the one and only true God
Henotheism is the belief in one supreme deity without denying the existence of other lesser gods.
St. Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, is also known as “doubting” Thomas because of his initial refusal to believe that Jesus had risen bodily from the grave. This is despite being a witness to many miracles performed by Jesus Christ throughout their three years together. The confession of St. Thomas bears powerful testimony to the deity of Christ. He saw Jesus turn water into wine, heal a crippled man, feed 5,000 men with only five loaves and two fish, give sight to a man born blind, raise a dead man with the stench of having been dead for four days, and many other miracles.
Yet when it came to the ultimate test of faith, he along with the other 11 disciples abandoned Christ and fled for their lives. They remained in hiding after He was arrested by the Romans who turned him over to Pontius Pilate. Pilate then turned Him over to the Jews for their verdict. Jesus was crucified.
Three days later, he rose from the dead. This was witnessed by the disciples, except Thomas, and about 500 others.
A couple of weeks later, He again appeared to the disciples. This time, Thomas was present. Now Jesus knew that Thomas had refused to believe that He was indeed risen despite the witness of the other disciples who had already seen Him. “They [disciples] told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he replied, ‘I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.'” (John 20:25 NLT)
Instead of criticizing him for his lack of faith, Jesus willingly and lovingly provided him with what his fledgling faith required. 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.”
There is no record that Thomas actually did what he had insisted he must do, and Jesus invited him to do. Instead, with a giant step he moves from the state of unbelieving to the state of believing. Suddenly, he is convinced that the one whom he sees is the risen Lord, the very same Jesus whom he knew after being with him for three years. Unhesitatingly, without any more words, explanations or apologies, he responds with an astonishing confession of faith: “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28). This declaration of faith is unique. No other disciple in the Gospel narratives used such an advanced creedal formula for expressing faith in Christ, who is now called Lord and God. I wish I could have heard the inflection in his voice when he uttered those words!
Thomas’ confession of faith assigns to Jesus the attributes of Lord and God, as used in the Old Testament for Yahweh, the one and only God. Thus, now Jesus is addressed in the same way. The change is radical. It is interesting to note that Thomas, the skeptical, unbelieving and tough disciple, utters at the very end of the Gospel of John, a superb declaration of faith which matches, in a variation, the majestic opening lines of the same Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This Word became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14), was crucified and risen, and now in John 20:28 is acknowledged as Lord and God.
With this confession of Thomas, despite its utter brevity, we have a supreme pronouncement of who Christ is. He is much more than a henotheistic lesser god. He is the one and the only true God.
As the writer to the Hebrews put it, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he (the Son, or Jesus) sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (Hebrews 1:1-4)
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord (Yahweh),
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord (Yahweh),
and besides me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:10-11)
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
Who is responsible for the tunnel at the border?
I was reading a very interesting artical where U.S. authorities have dicovered an unfinished and unusually sophiticated tunnel running from Mexico to the U.S. underneath the border wall. Only measuring only 3ft wide and only 4ft high, the tunnel has a railway, ventilation, water lines and electric lights. Angel Ortiz with Homeland security, said its builders must have been highly skilled, because the sand in the area is very loose and most tunnels end up caving. The tunnel was found when agents noticed a sinkhole opening up near the border wall. This is not first tunnel that has been found going under the border wall. So much for the wall. That sure took some money. Where is it comeing from. Any one that is that highly skilled, sure don’t donate their time. I bet is cost more money that the wall.
Kathy Whitley – Franklin, N.C.