I were to mention the names of certain disciples to you and ask you to write
down the first word that comes into your mind, it is unlikely you would come up
with the same words. If I were to mention the name of Judas many of you would
write down the word "betray" but not all of you. If I were to mention
Simon Peter, some of you would write down the word "faith," but not
all of you. If I were to mention the names of James and John, some of you would
write down the phrase "Sons of Thunder," but not all of you. But when
I mention the word Thomas, there is little question about the word most everyone
would write down. It would be the word doubt. Indeed, so closely have we
associated Thomas with this word, that we have coined a phrase to describe him:
You may be interested to know that in the first three gospels we are told absolutely nothing at all about Thomas. It is in John’s Gospel that he emerges as a distinct personality, but even then there are only 155 words about him. There is not a lot about this disciple in the Bible but there is more than one description.
When Jesus turned his face toward
Unfortunately history has remembered him for this scene where the resurrected Christ made an appearance to the disciples in a home in
Now I cannot help but notice that Thomas has separated himself from the disciples and therefore, in his solitude, missed the resurrection appearance. I think that john is suggesting to us that Christ appears most often within the community of believers that we call the church, and when we separate ourselves from the church we take a chance on missing his unique presence.
But the story doesn’t end here. The second time Jesus made his appearance Thomas was present with the disciples and this time he too witnessed the event. This time he believed. What can we learn from the life of Thomas?
Jesus did not blame him.
The most endearing things in life can never be proven.
We must move beyond doubt to faith.
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