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Thomas the Brave

Jesus began his teaching and healing ministry in Judea but because of opposition from the Jewish leaders he moved to Galilee to continue his work. But he still had ties to Judea and he was asked to return there.

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” (John 11:1-3)

Bethany was near Jerusalem, the headquarters of those who wanted to kill Jesus. When he announced his intention to go there, his disciples objected.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” (John 11:7,8)

One of them responded differently.

Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16)

All of the disciples believed Jesus would be killed if he returned to Judea. All except Thomas urged him not to go. Thomas was prepared to go with him and die with him. He showed a degree of courage that the others lacked.

Thomas continued to express courage. After Pentecost he went to India preaching the gospel and was martyred there. He has always been honored for his bravery.

Actually that last statement isn’t true. It should be, but something happened that overshadowed his courage. After his resurrection Jesus appeared to the disciples.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:24,25)

Because he doubted what he was told he in commonly known as “doubting Thomas”. Even those who never read the Bible are familiar with this phrase. Most people know him as a doubter; very few are aware of his bravery.

Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

The popular attitude toward Thomas is an illustration of the truth of this statement. We tend to focus on the one time he doubted and overlook his lifetime of courage. This will not always be the case. When God finally judges all of us Thomas will be honored as Thomas the Brave rather than being dismissed as doubting Thomas.

Doubting Thomas

After his resurrection Jesus appeared to the apostles.  One of them wasn’t present.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”  (John 20:24,25)

Because of his unwillingness to believe Jesus had risen from the dead he is often called “doubting Thomas.” Read the rest of this entry

Thomas

You have probably heard the phrase “Doubting Thomas.”  It originated with this incident in the life of Thomas, one of the twelve apostles.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”

But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:24-29

All most people know of Thomas is that he wouldn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead until he saw him with his own eyes.  There is an earlier mention of Thomas that sheds more light on what he was like. Read the rest of this entry

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