Lives to Inspire: Thomas the Apostle



We know very little about the apostle Thomas.

In the Gospel of John after Lazarus dies, Thomas appears to give up and says ‘Let us go, that we might die with him’ (Jn 11:16). However, the Gospel is ambiguous about whether he is referring to Lazarus or Jesus.
He is the character in the Gospel of John with whom we can share our moment of doubt. After the resurrection he is not present when Jesus appears to the disciples and he refuses to believe he is risen. But Jesus appears again to the disciples and this time he invites Thomas to touch his hands and side so that he will believe (Jn 20:24–29).

Legend has it that after the resurrection Thomas travelled as a missionary to India and perhaps beyond to China and Indonesia. There are many Christians who claim their faith is descended from him still.

Syro-Malabar icon of Throne of St. Thomas the Apostle

c 1 AD: born

30-33 AD: Chose to follow Jesus

52 AD: Died in India

Quote from the Saint

My Lord and my God.”

John 20:28

Today’s Scripture

John 20: New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 
So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’
But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27 
Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 28 
Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29
Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Thought for the Day

Although we cannot see Jesus, we can use our imaginations to reach out and touch his wounds in faith.
You may like to imagine you are in the Upper Room with Thomas.

Music

If ye love me,
keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you another comforter,
that he may ‘bide with you forever;
E’en the sp’rit of truth.

John 14:15–17