Thomas was one of the 12 apostles, who accompanied Jesus during his ministry. As an apostle, Thomas was one of the founders and early leaders of the church. Thomas became known mainly for doubting Jesus’ resurrection.
Thomas was one of the followers of Jesus, who was chosen to be an apostle. He lived with Jesus, learned from him and was prepared to be one of the future church leaders . Thomas was also known as Dídimo. Both Thomas and Didymus mean a twin, but the Bible does not say whether he was in fact a twin.
The Bible doesn’t say much about Thomas. Once, Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, died and Jesus decided to go to his city to resurrect him. But the disciples were concerned that the people in the neighborhood had tried to stone Jesus a short time before. When Jesus insisted, Thomas said that they would die with Lazarus ( John 11: 14-16 ).
See here more about the 12 apostles?
During the last supper, Jesus was trying to explain to the disciples that he had to die and return to the Father, to prepare the way. He said that they knew the path he was going to take but the disciples did not understand. Thomas asked him how they could know the way if they didn’t know where he was going. Jesus then replied that he is the way, the truth and the life ( John 14: 4-6 ).
A few days later, when Jesus was resurrected, he appeared to the disciples but Thomas was not there at that time. When the others told him what they had seen, he did not believe it. He said that he needed to see and touch Jesus to believe ( John 20: 24-25 ). For this reason, Thomas became known as a symbol of doubt and unbelief. (But in their defense, the other disciples did not believe it either when the women first told them that they had seen Jesus.)
A week later, Jesus appeared again, and this time, Thomas was there. When Thomas saw Jesus, he believed and worshiped him ( John 20: 26-28 ). Jesus took the opportunity to explain that those who believe without seeing will be blessed.
The Bible does not say what happened to Thomas later. According to tradition, Thomas was a missionary, founded several churches and died as a martyr.
See also: doubting is sin?
What can we learn from Thomas?
Thomas had his shortcomings, but despite this, Jesus chose him to be an apostle. We don’t need to be perfect to be used by Jesus. But throughout our journey with Jesus we will be challenged to change.
Thomas sometimes had a pessimistic attitude but he obeyed Jesus. He chose to follow Jesus, rather than his own pessimistic thoughts.
We all go through moments of doubt. Thomas’ story shows that we can have full confidence in God, even when we don’t understand how it is possible. Having evidence can help, but sometimes we are called to believe without being able to see.