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Thomas, known as 'The Twin' is also remembered as 'Doubting Thomas', but deserves respect for his faith.
Thomas was one of the original twelve apostles chosen by Jesus that he called from all walks of life. They had no leadership potential but all were willing to obey and follow Jesus. Thomas came from Galilee.
Glimpses of Thomas throughout the life of Jesus are brief, but he was a consistent and dependable learner.
At the beginning of Jesus' ministry, Thomas and eleven other chosen disciples were sent on a mission throughout the land with strict instructions to confine their preaching to Israelites. He was preparing them for future missions to Gentile lands.
Jesus gave to Thomas and the other eleven disciples power and authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. They were sent in pairs and Thomas' partner was Matthew who was previously a tax collector. Those who rejected the message of Christ that they preached, rejected Christ Himself, God's anointed one.
Thomas' training as a disciple meant not only instruction and various forms of ministry but a continual close association, intimate fellowship with Jesus Himself.
Thomas was capable of devotion and courage. He himself was willing to give up his life if that was what Christ expected of him, when Jesus decided to return to the area of Jerusalem, for Thomas knew of the malice the Jewish Leaders had for Jesus.
Thomas was the disciple, when once he understood that Christ was going to leave them asked "Lord, how can we follow you to where you are going, we don't know the way?" which prompted Jesus to say He alone is the only way to God The Father, He is The Truth and He is the Life.
When Jesus had been arrested, Thomas like all the other disciples abandoned Him and struggled for a positive outlook.
Three days after Jesus' death and burial, all the disciples were hidden behind locked doors, in fear of the Jewish leaders, when Jesus was suddenly standing amongst them. Thomas was not there at the time.
Thomas doubted Christ's resurrection and his doubts had a purpose, for he wanted to know the truth. Thomas had heard the report of the other disciples that they had seen Jesus, but he was not going to believe them unless he himself had seen him with his nail wounds and put his own finger in the hole of Jesus' hand, including his pierced side, wounded by the Roman soldier's spear.
Despite his skepticism Thomas was still loyal to other believers and Christ. Thomas was not stubborn or hard hearted. He knew his fellow disciples as men of integrity and should have believed them with assurance that what they said about seeing Christ resurrected was true. Yet he could not be convinced for eight days that their witness of Christ was real. He did not trust their word, for it seemed too incredible.
For a week his friends were joyful that their Lord had risen, yet that time was melancholy and perplexing for Thomas, but they still welcomed him as their close friend.
Thomas tempted Christ when he would be convinced only by his method alone or not at all. Either he had to see the evidence or not believe of the resurrection. To be a skeptic was a sin.
Eight days later when Thomas was with the other disciples, suddenly Jesus was standing there amongst them and he said to Thomas "Put your finger into my hands and put your hand into my side, don't be faithless, believe". Thomas, it that moment knew all doubt had gone, and exclaimed his worship for Jesus, His Lord and God.
Jesus showed His compassion as a Teacher. Jesus appeared and alleviated Thomas' doubts. Jesus had knowledge of what Thomas had said to his fellow disciples even though Jesus was not physically seen when Thomas had said it.
Jesus' resurrected body was no longer subject to natural laws as it was before His death. He could appear in the locked room for Thomas to see and touch him, yet He was not an apparition, He was real. Jesus' resurrection as Thomas found out, was literal and physical, He was not a disembodied spirit.
Doubting was not his way of living, but a response to something supernatural which he had been told about. He was reluctant to believe his friends as witnesses to such an astounding miracle. All who doubt can take courage from Thomas and allow the Risen Jesus to bring belief and truth back into their lives.
Jesus showed Thomas that He does not reject doubts that are honest and open than disbelief in silence. Christ was gracious to Thomas and singled him out from the rest for a rebuke, and repeated word for word what Thomas had primarily spoken. The reprimand and warning Thomas received was also for all of mankind. Thomas did not have to touch Jesus, just seeing Him made the truth a reality.
Thomas was fully satisfied at seeing Jesus, that it was the same Jesus that had been crucified and He is now alive forevermore.
Thomas believed with all his might that Jesus was His Lord and God. Christ accepted him as a believer, he was assured and knew his name was written in heaven, in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Jesus had appeared to the other disciples on the first Day of the week, Sunday, the day He rose from the dead. He appeared again for Thomas the next Sunday, again on the first day of the week. Appearing twice on the first day of the week to His disciples, Jesus clearly was establishing the Christian Sabbath.
Thomas was also with six other disciples when Jesus appeared to them at the Sea of Galilee as they were fishing, and gave them breakfast.
Thomas' livelihood was a fisherman before he, in obedience to Christ's command, followed Him as a disciple to be taught.
Thomas always asked questions, he was a student of Jesus and became a qualified representative and Apostle to be sent on missions. Each of the apostles were equal and had no supremacy over the other, nor was it claimed of any. Jesus had taught them all that none of His disciples were above each other.
After Christ ascended 40 days later Thomas, with the other disciples returned to Jerusalem where they had a prayer meeting and they chose another disciple to take Judas' place.
It is widely known that Thomas The Apostle evangelised throughout Persia and Northern India where there, he suffered martyrdom.
Thomas also recorded 144 sayings of Jesus, the document was found, near Cairo, in a jar in 1945 and it is called the Gospel of Thomas, The Twin. It is not recorded in The Scriptures who was his twin.
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