Usually nicknamed “Doubting Thomas,” Thomas was also called Didymus, meaning The Twin (although a twin brother or sister is never mentioned in the Bible.) He was an outspoken sceptic to the point of being known as a pessimist. No details are given about Thomas in the first three Gospels other than the mention of his name. John’s first mention of Thomas is in John 11:16. Lazarus had died and the disciples feared for the life of Jesus and themselves if they were to go back to Bethany. Thomas speaks up. “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” (John 11:16) Here we see the character quality of courage and loyalty to Christ, a quality not often attributed to Thomas.

His devotion to Christ is further displayed when Jesus told the disciples that He was going to go away and prepare a place for them. “And you know the way where I am going. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” (John 14:4-5) Thomas didn’t want to be left behind. And then Thomas’ love for Jesus and his desire to see and touch before he believed and then his declaration, “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:28)  

Tradition strongly suggests that Thomas started the Christian church in India. Some suggest being run through by a spear killed him, ironically, similar to Jesus being pierced by a spear.

9. James the Less

Author: Patriarch Gregg

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