’Doubting Thomas’ is a well-known phrase, but it would seem unfortunate that one moment of doubt should be the first thing to be associated with a man who was undoubtedly loyal to his friend Jesus. He went as far as to say to his fellow disciples,
‘Let us also go, that we may die with him’ (John 11:16)
Yet we can still question the wisdom that allowed Thomas to doubt what should have been plain to him.
In times of turmoil it is possible for God to step in, to directly provide all the evidence needed in one fell swoop
The disciples were both mourning and fearful following the death of Jesus and had locked themselves in a room, but Thomas was not with them. We are not told a reason, either good or bad, but his absence meant that he missed the revelation of the greatest event in history. Furthermore, when Thomas did meet with his friends again, he refused to believe their story, even though he could see their enthusiasm and conviction about the truth of the resurrection. His lack of trust in his friends as support in hard times, and his unbelief of their testimony, is perhaps where we can learn our greatest lesson from Thomas.
In times of turmoil it is possible for God to step in, to directly provide all the evidence needed in one fell swoop, as he did with Thomas in the upper room; a revelation that drove Thomas to worship Jesus. But is it not better for us who have not seen Jesus, for the deepening of friendships, and the building up of one another through encouragement, to have shared a problem and to be given words of comfort and guidance by a trusted Christian friend? Thomas does learn this lesson of fellowship, for we see in Acts 1:13 that he then spent time with his closest friends, and was part of the early church meetings.
Read about Thomas for yourself in Mark 16:14 and John 20:24-31