Chapter Ten: Deciding 11 October
So the other disciples told him,
“We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them,
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were,
and put my hand into his side,
I will not believe.”
|Seeing Is Believing|
We pressed the flesh shaking hands on the agreement. Mike was highly recommended by a trusted mutual friend. And we immediately went to work together in a pharmaceutical start-up.
I should have paid more attention to the adage, “A Verbal Contract Isn’t Worth the Paper It’s Written On.” I should have questioned more and demanded that the deal get documented.
Thomas was one of the twelve apostles who demanded physical evidence of the Resurrection of Christ. He would only believe that Jesus rose from the dead if Thomas could examine the wounds suffered by the Savior during the Crucifixion. This is the origin of “Doubting Thomas.”
The Greek work for ‘marks’ caused by the nails and the spear is translated as,
Example, ensample (a pattern or model for imitation) fashion, figure, form, manner, print. (Yeager 1982)
Saint Thomas wanted hard data before believing the claim of Christ’s resurrection.
In the sales process the company representative will offer proof only if the buyer is skeptical. If the prospect doubts any of the features, advantages or benefits of the product or service, the sales rep is ready with a backup for any claim.
Thomas was a skeptical buyer. He would embrace the assertion only if he experienced the declaration through his senses; seeing was believing.
But let us not be too critical of Thomas’s reluctance. Jesus had warned his apostles that there would be false prophets and misleading messiahs and pretenders. Thomas didn’t want to be fooled, perhaps.
Every boss needs the candor of a demanding Thomas. The former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, emphasizes the genius of Herman Kahn, Ph.D., “Hire paranoids. Even though they have a high false alarm rate they discover all the plots.”
A candidate will not be moved by groupthink; going along with the crowd or social convention. “If a fellow CEO on the golf course says, ‘We are using this and we wouldn’t do without it,’ you have to do it too,” Peter Drucker observes, then the fellow manager will, “Yield to peer pressure.”
To believe without some evidence is a leap of faith. We can understand this in believing the Empty Tomb of the Risen Christ.
We should each be doubting as Thomas did for our earthly business. And accept on Faith that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
My start-up partner, Mike, would eventually renege on our verbal agreement. It was my fault. It was a self-inflicted wound.
Faith in the Risen Savior is a different business. I believe in The Written Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit for eternal security.
An earthly written instrument on our start-up — on this side of eternity — would have saved me much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25