Doubting Thomas

“Doubting Thomas,” we call him. And with reason. He simply would not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. There was no mistaking his opinion of the first Resurrection report: “Except I shall 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” (John 20:25).

We aren’t told why Thomas missed the first meeting with the disciples after the Resurrection when Jesus appeared. Perhaps he had a good excuse for not attending the gathering called by the risen Christ. One thing is sure: missing that meeting made him a doubter and established his reputation through the centuries. He would always be known as “Doubting Thomas.”

There is, however, another side to the story. Thomas had left all to follow Christ. He went with the Lord through some pretty difficult days. To the best of our knowledge, he experienced approximately one week of doubt in his entire Christian experience. There may have been more doubting days than that for Thomas but we have no scriptural authority for saying so.

At the second appearance of Christ to the disciples, Thomas was present. When confronted with his faithless statement, he surrendered completely and cried, “My Lord and my God.” From that time on it seems sure that Thomas was an outstanding Christian and that he died as a martyr in India where, because of preaching the Gospel, he was thrust through with a spear. We label Thomas because of one weak week.

Sadly, we often treat other Christians the same way!