Tag Archives: Thomas

THE TURBULENCE AND TRANQUILITY OF “THOMAS”


William Andrew Dillard

Ranking high among the pleasures of reading God’s Word is vicariously identifying with its cast of characters. Perhaps it is the unshakable focus and patience of Noah that inspires us or the unwavering faith of Abraham. Isaac brings calmness to the soul, while adventuresome excitement flows from trickster Jacob. Joseph inspires us in all our troubles as does Job, but what could be more of an emotional roller coaster than the life of Moses. On and on the chronicles of life itself in so many contexts speak loudly to us of what is right or wrong, good and bad. Who could have had a greater storybook life than David or Solomon, or the austerity, faithfulness, and fortitude of the impressive prophets. But some largely prefer to identify with the apostles. John was so trusting and loving. Peter was so impulsive and often wrong. Paul was a trail-blazing evangelist and doctrinal instructor. But there is another that claims a lion’s share of connection in many disciples in every generation. It is Thomas who is more often than not referred to as “Doubting Thomas.”
Often pushed into the back recesses of heart and mind, the more open doubts of our “Thomas” are hidden away. Out of view by others, he will command the mental easy chair of meditation or the center stage of a mind unwilling to surrender to nightly rest, calling into question some things deeply embedded as unchangeable truth. Our personal “Thomas” seems to strongly raise questions, affirm denial, and cause one to flounder in the pool of amazement over what is long known to be truth in the absolute.
The biblical Thomas knew the Lord, he received heaven’s baptism at the hands of John the Baptist, and positively responded to the call of Jesus. He loved the Lord and soaked up so much of Jesus’ teachings. The crucifixion threw him for a loop as it did most of the apostles. But not being present at the early appearances of the resurrected Christ, his knowledge consisted of the reports of the others who had seen Him. But no one rises from the dead. Four thousand years of consistent history proved it. But his brethren were not given to false statements. He wanted so much for it to be so, but determined he would not believe it until he had personally seen Him himself. What a time that was when Jesus appeared to them all inside a locked room, and he was bidden both to see and to feel the body of Jesus. A new level of solidification enveloped him as the turbulence gave way to tranquility.
That process of turbulence to tranquility is the prospective joy for every disciple who will stop long enough to meet with Jesus in the room of His Holy Word. When your “Thomas” finds his way to center stage, allow Jesus to speak as He did so long ago: “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” John 20:27.

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A New Look At Doubting Thomas


How many years had I had a dim view of Thomas the Doubter. Too many. While preparing for a study for Church on Wednesday night, my eyes were opened to the man Thomas truly was. I had heard too many references about his doubting and that had clouded my thoughts on Thomas.

Let me show you a few things about Thomas that are seldom mentioned. John 11:14-16, Jesus has the desire to go see the family of Lazarus. The disciples objected on the grounds that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus. All except Thomas. His reply – “let’s go die with him.”

How often is this quoted of this great man. Now I say great for these four reasons.

1. He displayed a fervent love for the Master. (Do you?)

2. He was ready to act. (Are you?)

3. He was ready to give an expression to his faith by death. (Will you?)

4. He opposed the other disciples in their faithlessness. (Would you?)

John 14:5,6 – Where Jesus said “Let not your hearts be troubled …..I go to prepare a mansion for you … ” Jesus finished this up by saying “And whither I go ye know and the way ye know. Thomas made two revealing statements at this point – “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. – How can we know the way?” Here are some points on this statement.

1. Thomas was anxious about the Lord leaving him. (Are we anxious when we drift from the Lord?)

2. Thomas desired the truth. (Do we desire the truth?)

3. Jesus answer was bigger than the question. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”  ( Are you on this way, in this truth, and truly living and going to see the Father. There is only One way.)
To know Christ is to know the Goal and the way to it.
John 20:24-31 records The doubt that Thomas had. How hard we judge Thomas on this one account. Let our memory wander back to resurrection morning and two disciples from the inner circle racing to the tomb and experiencing wonder and doubt. How about when Peter denied Jesus three times. After the crucifixion and resurrection in there not a statement about the disciples remembering certain things that Jesus told them?
One thing that Thomas could not do was believe through the belief of others. Rush to verse 28 where Thomas says – MY LORD AND MY GOD.”
1. Instant dispersion of doubt.
2. Admiration.
3. Adoration.
4. Recognition of Supreme Diety.
My respect for Thomas has been elevated. He had courage and strength of conviction.
May we all desire these fine points of Thomas.

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