There is little, biblically, about Apostle Thomas. The most easily quoted passages are have to do with Thomas' need to touch Jesus, to have tangible evidence that Jesus was alive. (John 20:24). I have heard these passages throughout my life, and they struck a chord that made me who I am. I actually conceive Thomas more as a studious apostle, a dedicated apostle, an inquistitive apostle, mixed with some doubt.
Thomas' question to Jesus at the Passover meal gives us a glimpse into his character.
John 14:5 - Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Thomas was a student of Jesus, that's what it meant to follow a Rabbi. A student was to be so immersed in the rabbi's theology, behavior, and idiosyncrasies that the disciple could repeat them precisely. Thomas question was a natural one, not a spiritual one. Jesus knew Thomas well, they have ate, travelled, fellowshipped, and slept the same daily life for three years.
Jesus was not surprised by Thomas' question at Passover, nor was Jesus surprised at Thomas' need for tangibility after His Resurrection. When you think about it, all the apostles received tangible evidence that Jesus was alive. Thomas was more vocal about his need.
We are all Thomas in life. Being an introvert, I question my ability to do any new activity and usually am fearful to the point of talking myself out of it easily. Andrew refuses to let me get by with such behavior. I drove a manual transmission for over a decade, not because I wanted to learn how but because Andrew insisted I learn how to get over my fear. I know how to shift a motorcycle but was scared to try a larger vehicle. So scared that I sweating & got tunnel vision. I learned with the compassionate training of Andrew. The only thing I could not completely master was steep hills. (But neither could Andrew, with any consistency!)
My point: We all have "doubts", fears, self-talk that holds us back from our maximum potential. Sometimes we have a savior (I don't mean this sacrilegiously) that comes along and provides us tangible resources to overcome, to provide the missing information to overcome, to provide the training to overcome, or the inspiration to overcome, to lift us up beyond our lower expectations to overcome.
Sometimes we are the savior for someone else. In either case we are called to be His hands, His feet, His eye of compassion, His giving of inspiration and hope.
Yes we are all Thomas, the faithful follower doing everything in his power to replicate his Rabbi's every move.
Music is from Amy Grant, with My Father's Eyes.
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