Thomas, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, was an impulsive, confused, honest sceptic, a man who Jesus could understand and work with. Thomas’ impulsiveness was evident when Jesus prepared to visit Lazarus in Bethany. Because of the Jews, it was a dangerous trip to make, but Thomas urged his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” (John 11:16). Instead, Jesus brought Lazarus back to life.
Thomas’ confusion is shown in later talks with Jesus. He wasn’t sure where Jesus was going long-term (John 14:5), but Jesus accepted this confused commitment, and began to untangle it, patiently explaining, “I am going to my Father” and “No one comes unto the Father but by me.”
Finally, Thomas’ honest scepticism is revealed after the Resurrection, which he flatly refused to believe – unless he could touch the wounds of the risen Jesus. Sure enough, Jesus appears – but instead of scolding him, shows him the wounds. Thomas responds, “My Lord and my God” (John 20.26ff).
Thus,” Doubting” Thomas’ honest doubts, turned to honest faith, have become a reassurance for thousands of men and women across the centuries, who also want to follow Jesus, but who require some proof of this amazing event – the Resurrection. In Doubting Thomas’ complete affirmation of faith, after meeting the risen, crucified Christ, they can find support for their own faith.
Ancient legends tell how Thomas went on to India as a missionary. There are rumours that Thomas even built a palace for a king’s daughter in India, and thus he is the patron saint of architects. It is believed that he was martyred by a spear on 3rd July, 72 AD in Mylapore, near Madras. 46 ancient churches in England were dedicated to him
The feature image for this post is “Anthony van Dyck studio apostle Saint Thomas 2014 CKS 01576 0119(cropped)” WikiCommons (P.D.)