When Jesus rose from the dead, his followers were filled with awe and amazement. They could hardly believe what they were seeing.
Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, was not present when Jesus first appeared to the others. When he heard about it later, he was skeptical and refused to believe unless he saw Jesus with his own eyes.
The Doubting Apostle
Thomas had earned a reputation for being a skeptic. He wanted proof before he would believe anything.
This is evident in John 11:16 when Jesus decides to go back to Judea after receiving news that Lazarus has died. The other disciples warn him that it’s too dangerous, but Thomas says, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Thomas’ Reaction to Jesus’ Death
After Jesus’ crucifixion and death, the disciples were devastated. They thought their hope had been lost forever.
Thomas was no exception to this feeling of despair. He must have been heartbroken at the loss of his teacher and friend.
Thomas’ Response to News of the Resurrection
When Mary Magdalene came running with news that she had seen the risen Lord, Thomas refused to believe her. Later when the other disciples told him that they too had seen Jesus alive again, Thomas said he would not believe it unless he saw for himself.
Thomas Sees for Himself
A week later, while all the apostles were gathered together in a house, Jesus appeared again among them. This time Thomas was there too. And when Jesus showed him his nail-pierced hands and side, Thomas fell down on his knees and cried out: “My Lord and my God!”
The Lesson Learned
Thomas’ initial doubt might seem like a weakness or a character flaw at first glance but it actually highlights how important faith is. Thomas needed to see in order to believe, but the other apostles believed without seeing. Jesus tells him: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
Thomas’ reaction to Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that faith is not always easy. Doubt can be a part of the journey, but it’s important to remember that faith is ultimately what leads us to believe. And when we do finally believe, there’s nothing more powerful than experiencing the risen Lord for ourselves.