Thomas, the Doubting Apostle
The expression doubting Thomas became a common name for incredulous listener. People can often hear it in conversation and not just among believers. Thomas was the most pessimistic, gloomy, silent, and, therefore, the most stubborn apostle. Doubting Thomas seems to be like a mule: heavy to lift, stern and morose. Nevertheless, Jesus chose him and encouraged all the skeptics and pessimists, all those who were full of doubts. Perhaps, in an honest doubter there is more faith than in the half believer. The following essay is focused on the research of such interesting Bible character as Thomas, his character and place among all the important characters from the Holy Scriptures.
Thomas was one of the apostles (disciples) of Jesus Christ. He was called by Christ from the fishermen. For the first time Thomas appeared when Jesus informed about the illness of Lazarus . Jesus and the apostles were at that time in Galilee where Lazarus was sick and died. But Christ did not pay attention to the news and only on the third day suddenly offered to go to Judea. This fact amazed and frightened disciples. They made an attempt to deflect Jesus from such a dangerous enterprise. They said to the teacher that the Jews were just trying to stone him, and wondered if he was going to come back. Jesus answered the disciples that nothing can reduce the time of His ministry on earth. They paused in indecision. Then Thomas came forward and said to his friends to go and possibly die with him. It was an expression of the strong selfless devotion. Thomas did not think - he saw the hardness of the Teachers intentions and did not want to be separated from him in danger. Hot words of Thomas influenced the others and all went with the Teacher. Therefore, one of his phrases played a decisive role in the decision! Devotion of Thomas was the fruit of genuine love, affection of heart to the Lord. It is a dedication as well as a cry of sullen depressed soul. He always saw the dark side of things at first. Thomas spoke as a man who left hope and was ready to die. He did not hesitate to follow Jesus and did not think what will happen to him, he followed Jesus.
The second time Thomas appears at the Last Supper, when Jesus taught the apostles . Lord urged them not to be discouraged by the fact that soon he would leave them and would go to His Father, which will prepare a place for them. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know, - added the Lord . But for the disciples of the Lord it was not clear. Very often, when we do not understand something, we think it is a shame to interrupt the speaker and ask clarifying or explaining the issue. Thomas said as if the name of all: Lord I do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way? .
Then Thomas can be traced on Easter Sunday. Jesus resurrected and appeared to Mary. And she told about it to all the apostles, except two: Judas was dead and Thomas was not among them. Perhaps he was so depressed and upset that could not bear even the appearance of their friends. When Jesus appeared, Thomas was not there. He had not seen the risen Christ, did not hear the words spoken by Him. He did not get the Easter hope, did not see the Truth and the Life. He did not believe them. Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. This man just does not have faith. He is Doubting Thomas. What arrogance, what an insulting distrust of Christ! But there is one but: for He said with doubt on one condition with one exception. A week passed but the following Sunday he came to the meeting place of apostles. Jesus was there. He referred to Thomas, in his own words, he remembers them: Put your finger here and see my hands; hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be no doubting, but faithfulness . There is no more reason to doubt. Thomas hit! He went on to all the apostles in a confession, crashing to his knees and exclaimed, My Lord and my God .
Thus, the darkest skeptic became the most fervent believer. In spite of all his former unbelief, Thomas finally found its footing. Doubt helps to ask a question and get an answer and could push for the decision. However, it should not become a normal thing for people. Doubt is a leg, step forward or backward. If the foot hangs in the air, there is no movement. When people have doubts, they need to follow the example of Thomas. He did not stop at his doubt, he allowed Jesus to dispel it. It must inspire us that countless followers of Christ have overcome their doubts. Otherwise He would not have His followers. Thomas had his advantages: he was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, possessed an extraordinary hardness, whether in doubt or in faith. He was a loyal and honest person. But also Thomas had weaknesses: together with others he was arrested but refused to believe the testimony of the other disciples that they had seen the risen Jesus and demanded proof, Thomas had to overcome his pessimism. Jesus respected the doubts, if they are honest and are directed to the faith. It is better to express doubt openly than lose faith in silence!
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