Following Jesus 43

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. 
As one pastor comments, “Thomas was prepared to die with Jesus in John 11, but Jesus died without Thomas. He wanted to go to heaven with Jesus in John 14, but Jesus went to heaven without Thomas. 
While Thomas was pessimistic regarding the resurrection of Jesus, remember that the other disciples had seen Jesus. Prior to that event, they were in the same despair as was Thomas.  
Thomas wanted to be sure. He wanted evidence that was clear and true. Thomas received the evidence when Jesus appeared a second time to the disciples eight days later. Thomas would speak the singularly greatest confession ever made. “My Lord and my God.” 
Thomas was melancholy, moody, pessimistic, comfortless and shattered. Jesus overcame all of that in Thomas and the disciple responded with a singular and great confession. 
Thomas’ response, “My Lord and my God” is the high point of the narrative.  Thus the truths in the first chapter were realized personally in this apostle (1:1, 14, 18). The Resurrection (a) demonstrated that what Jesus predicted about His being raised was true (Mark 8:31; 9:9, 31; 10:34; John 2:19), (b) proved that Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 1:4) and was sent by God (“vindicated by the Spirit,” 1 Timothy 3:16), (c) testified to the success of His mission of salvation (Romans 4:25), (d) entitled Jesus to a position of glory (1 Peter 1:11), and (e) proclaimed that Jesus is the “Lord” (Acts 2:36).
As one professor writes, “Jesus then pronounced a blessing on all who would come to faith without the help of a visible, bodily manifestation to them (John 20:29; cf. 1 Peter 1:8). This blessing comes to all who believe on the basis of the proclaimed gospel and the evidences for its validity. Believers living today are not deprived by not seeing Him physically; instead, they are the recipients of His special blessing: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 
Do you struggle with being negative and pessimistic? Why? Ask God to help you to trust Him. 
Jesus does not mind when people want to be sure of what they believe and why they believe it as long as they finally do believe it. What do you struggle to believe from God’s Word? Ask any of the pastors for assistance regarding verifiable evidence of biblical truth. 
Often times, our confidence in the truth of the Bible comes when we are in the company of other believers. Are you currently committed to a small group of believers wherein there is trust, accountability and mutual encouragement? If not, perhaps you may want to consider becoming a member of an existing one or beginning a new one. 
Soli deo Gloria!

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.