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The Many Faces of Thomas: Beyond Doubt

Updated: Apr 30, 2023


Have you ever been surprised by someone? Perhaps someone you thought was an angel turned out to be quite the opposite, or a person you dismissed as a lost cause ended up being a true blessing. Today, we'll take a closer look at a disciple who has been labelled for his doubts – Thomas.

Thomas is often referred to as "Doubting Thomas" due to his request to touch Jesus' wounds after the resurrection. However, this label doesn't do justice to the full character of Thomas. In John's gospel, Thomas appears three times, and through these appearances, we see different aspects of his personality: Thomas the lion heart, Thomas the questioner, and Thomas the confessor.

Thomas the Lion Heart


When Jesus decided to go back to Judea, his disciples were afraid, as the Jews had tried to seize and kill him. But Thomas, with his brave heart, said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." Thomas was willing to follow Jesus where others wouldn't, showing his courage and faith.


Thomas the Questioner


As Jesus was preparing his disciples for his departure, he told them, "In my Father's house are many rooms… I am going there to prepare a place for you." Thomas, seeking to understand more, asked, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus responded with the timeless verse: "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

Thomas' questions led to a deeper understanding of Jesus' teachings, demonstrating that it's essential to ask questions in our faith journey.

Thomas the Confessor


When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, Thomas insisted on seeing and touching his wounds. Once he did, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" This confession of faith is one of the earliest in the New Testament.


Jesus didn't reject Thomas for his doubts but instead blessed those who believe without seeing: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

We can learn from Thomas the importance of personal faith, courage, and asking questions. As we continue to grow in our own faith journeys, let us remember Thomas as more than just a doubter, but as a lion heart, a questioner, and a confessor.

Prayer


Lord God, in a world where it's challenging to hold onto faith, help us this Easter season to have courage and faith amidst our doubts. Through our witness and service to you, may we make it easier for others to believe. Amen.


Abridged copy of the sermon / address:

Thomas - Lionheart, Questioner, Confessor
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