Following Jesus 41

As we examine the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, we now begin to view the second group of four. Following Philip, Nathanael and Matthew is Thomas. How are followers of Jesus today like Thomas? Let’s begin by looking at some facts regarding the disciple Thomas, who is also known as the Doubter. 
What do we know about Thomas? One of the first things we think about when we hear of Thomas was that he was a doubter. However, he is so much more than that. 
The Apostle John in his gospel gives us the only information about Thomas. There are three chapters in John that feature Thomas. They are John 11:14-16, John 14:1-5 and John 20:24-29. It is from these three narratives that we will glean information about our brother disciple. 
To begin with, a follower of Jesus like Thomas is one who is dedicated to Christ, but realistic about the world. John 11:1-16. 
Secondly, a follower of Jesus like Thomas is one who hears the words of God, but may not always understand the truth from God. John 14:1-7 says:
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:1-7 ESV)
Jesus is speaking to the disciples in the Upper Room. It is hours prior to Jesus’ arrest, trial, beating, crucifixion and death. He speaks to these disciples about going to
prepare a place for them and others like them.
Thomas wants to know where Jesus is going. He is not sure what Jesus is saying and what He means. Perhaps this not only reveals Thomas’ pessimism but also his broken heart. He is grieving that Jesus is going to go away and Thomas can’t go with Him. 
It is to Thomas that Jesus says the immortal words, “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” Jesus is telling Thomas, the rest of the disciples and you and me that He will bring us to heaven to be with Him. 
The disciples were completely bewildered and discouraged. Jesus had said He was going away (7:34; 8:21; 12:8, 35; 13:33), that He would die (12:32–33), that one of the Twelve was a traitor (13:21), that Peter would disown Him three times (13:38), that Satan was at work against all of them (Luke 22:31–32), and that all the disciples would fall away (Matthew 26:31). The cumulative weight of these revelations must have greatly depressed them.
Sometimes, similar circumstances overwhelm believers today. How do we overcome this problem of hearing the words of God but not understanding the truth from God in His Word?
To begin with, ask questions of your pastor. Seek his counsel regarding portions of God’s Word with which you struggle. Secondly, become involved in a small group with believers more mature in the faith than you in order to learn from them. Third, purchase a good study Bible. These would be one’s containing reference material and study helps in order to assist you in your growth in Christ. Finally, become involved in a Sunday school class wherein discussion occurs. 

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Reformation Societies is a fraternal of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Reformation Societies and the mission of the Alliance.