Following Jesus 42

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.
Finally, a follower of Jesus like Thomas is one whose strong commitment to Christ is based upon a biblically centered faith in the character of God. John 20:24-29. 
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29 ESV)
Perhaps the most stirring and striking account of Jesus and Thomas was eight days following Jesus’ resurrection. Thomas had not been with rest of the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. Thomas had been shattered by the event of Jesus’ crucifixion. He would not bring himself to even consider what the other disciples were saying as true unless he experienced it himself. Perhaps he felt betrayed, forsaken and rejected. He was not with the rest of the group. Perhaps he was alone with his thoughts, anguish a despair.

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