There is a very common perspective by which a lot of people live their lives—“I’ll believe it when I see it.” This was the perspective that one of Jesus’ disciples took to heart when he heard about Jesus’ return from the grave, alive and well. You can read the story in the New Testament in the book of John chapter 20, verses 19-31.
Now that isn’t a bad principle by which to live. There are many who would deceive us. They want us to believe them and their incredible claims. They insist that I do not believe because I question what they say or claim. It isn’t wrong to raise questions, or to ask for confirmation.
Thomas was one who lived by this principle. His perspective on life wasn’t negative or doubtful, just cautious and realistic. He had witnessed the Roman soldiers hammer the iron spikes through Jesus’ hands and feet. He had witnessed the spear thrust into His side to assure death. Those awful sounds still echoed in his memory. The questions still cried for answers—where was God when Jesus was nailed on the cross? Where was He when Jesus suffered? Where was He when He died? Did God not care? Was He not observant? What happened?
As one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, Thomas didn’t believe Jesus was done right. He didn’t think Jesus deserved crucifixion. He did know that Jesus had died. He saw that and he realized that Jesus’ death ended great hopes and many ambitious plans for a Kingdom. Jesus’ crucifixion had not made sense, but it was more believable and sensible than what Peter, Andrew and the other believers were telling. They said, “We have seen the Lord.”
Not anybody with any sense could believe that a dead man, one crucified and buried, could be alive.
This incident in Thomas’ life reminds me of a story shared by a preacher to explain this kind of thinking. He said that Thomas reminded him of a country boy who sat down to a very formal, sophisticated dinner. “Somewhere in the middle of the main course he put a huge piece of hot potato in his mouth. He embarrassed everyone at the table by putting his hand to his mouth, spitting out the hot potato, and laying it on his plate. He looked up calmly and said, ‘You know, some fools would have swallowed that.’”
Thomas was very cautious and he wouldn’t swallow what others told him. He wanted to see, to witness, to know for himself. He had legitimate skepticism because he knew that unquestioned, blind belief could lead to wrong conclusions. He wanted real truth, Jesus Christ Himself in flesh and blood, to show him. Now this is an important approach to things that exist at the present time, lest we make the wrong decision.
What are the facts?
Who should we believe?
What is the “spin” being placed on things?
What is true right around us?
What we see or hear or experience can be devastating for us.
We have a lot of folks who refuse to believe President Donald Trump and what has happened in the years since his inauguration.
He has brought change to the nation that President Obama said would never again come.
Many believed that Barack Obama was going to bring the changes we needed and the hopes that were desired.
None of those hoped for promises became true for us.
When we look around us, we see more division, more racism, more failure, more debt and more disaster than we could have imagined in 2008 or 2012.
We are in a much worse condition, particularly in terms of the racial and moral situations. We elected a president who misquoted Jesus Christ, used his office to promote the acceptance of “same-sex” marriage, apologized for the United States wherever he went in the world, and used the power of his office to rob some people to give to others. Our grandchildren’s children are going to be paying the debt that President Obama and his team (and George W. Bush and his team) created.
There are some hard-core supporters who still believe in the “messiah” they hoped Obama would become for the nation. We must realize that Obama was not and is not Jesus Christ. He isn’t what many people thought he was, and some still think he is. We must embrace reality, not what we are told or want to believe to be true.
What we need is the shock of Ed Klein’s best-seller about the Obama presidency—The Amateur. The title actually came from a remark made by President Bill Clinton in a conversation about his urging Hillary to challenge Obama for the Democrat nomination. He gave his final judgment of the forty-fourth president, saying, “Barack Obama is an amateur!”
There is an important point in all of this and we dare not fail to realize the truth about these matters. Obama failed. He failed to even unify his own political party. He wasn’t able to bring experienced and acceptable leaders to key positions in his cabinet and executive offices. The waste of billions of dollars, the failure of the bale-out initiatives, racist failures, and increasing unemployment were realities that must not be ignored or casually dismissed.
These cannot be the fault of George W. Bush or any other president before Obama. All of these, and much more, are related to then President Obama. Spin is not enough. Good campaigning did not solve the problems created by Obama. Of course, now Obama is claiming that Donald Trump is benefiting from the economy and the political situation he engineered for him.
There is so much more than can be said about “the Amateur” then in the White House.
Ed Klein says it. Now we are going to learn a great deal more about what Obama engineered to defeat and destroy President Trump through those he used in the Administrative State to attack a sitting president.
I believe he was far more than the Amateur Klein suggestions he was. What do you think?