2013-11-16 - Thomas
The Disciple Series ~ Part 8
Today we will consider one of Jesus' Disciples with perhaps the most famous nickname. Thomas is frequently referred to as "Doubting Thomas." His Greek name was Thomas, and it was Didymus in Aramaic. His name means "The Twin." Little is known about Thomas' background or calling to be a disciple of Christ. Thomas is mentioned at the death of Lazarus. When Jesus told the disciples that they should go to where Lazarus' body was located in Bethany, Thomas said, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." (John 11:16, NIV) Thomas exhibited courage and devotion to Jesus when he said that the disciples should go with Jesus. The Pharisees and Jewish authorities were looking for a reason to arrest and execute Jesus. By going to Lazarus' tomb, Jesus was exposing Himself to potential arrest. Thomas was willing to risk the same outcome. In this instance,Thomas was courageous, and not doubtful.
However, Thomas is best known for his doubts about Jesus' Resurrection. Thomas was not present when Jesus first appeared to the disciples. Thomas was doubtful and wanted proof. Thomas said, "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 it." (John 20:25, NIV) A week later, Jesus did appear to Thomas, and He put an end to Thomas' doubts. Jesus said to him, "Stop doubting, and believe." (John 20:27, NIV) Thomas did believe, and he went on to become a missionary of the Gospel in India. Thomas died a martyr in India, where he was murdered with a spear.
So when you think of "Doubting Thomas," remember that he was fiercely loyal to Jesus and was willing to die for Him in Bethany. His doubts are legendary, but his death as a missionary for Christ in India is not as well-known. Like Thomas, we all have doubts from time to time. But, the Scriptures, Biblical teaching, brothers and sisters in Christ, and the Holy Spirit are sources of assurance that Jesus loves us and continues to care for us.
Series to be continued.
Richard Moser, Jr