July 17, 2022
July 17, 2022
Have you ever felt like someone judged you unfairly? Maybe they heard one or two things about you, and suddenly you earn the reputation that you couldn't shake? Perhaps it happened when you were a small child or in school, and then next thing you know, that's your label for life.
Sometimes I think this is what happened to Thomas. I’ll be honest and admit that often I feel sorry for the guy because I think he got a bad rap. We all know the story of Thomas saying, “I need to see it before I believe that Jesus is resurrected.” It’s how he got the name “Doubting Thomas.”
As we read the Gospels, we see that Thomas could be labeled a pessimist, a realist, a glass-half-empty kind of guy. But this doesn’t tell the whole story of Thomas.
In a lesser recognized passage, we read that Thomas was also very loyal. Long before the crucifixion and resurrection, Thomas proves he was ride or die with Jesus even as the realist inside of Him knew death was a very real possibility.
Here’s the story:
Lazarus was dead to begin with. (Just a little Dickens humor). Jesus had just told the disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to raise him from the dead. (They didn’t get it at first, but they caught on eventually.) Here’s the problem: the disciples knew that Jerusalem was dangerous for Jesus. The ruling religious elite hated him and were looking for a way to get rid of him.
Remember: Thomas doesn’t sugarcoat things. He’s a realist. He knows going to Jerusalem could turn out very badly—not just for Jesus but for him, too.
What does he say?
“Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.'" (John 11:16, NLT)
There’s no doubt about it. Thomas knew that, no matter what happened, he would ride or die with Jesus. Even if things turned out badly, he would be loyal to the end.
Obviously, we know that Thomas didn’t die that day. He went on to see Jesus die and be resurrected. Church tradition says that he became a missionary far outside the Roman Empire, even planting a church in India. Ultimately, he was martyred for following Jesus.
So did Thomas struggle with doubt? Yeah, a few times in his life. Still, what defines the legacy of his life is loyalty. He should be known as ride or die, Thomas.
by: Jamie Holden, Mantour Ministries
Today’s Scripture: “Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.'" (John 11:16, NLT)
New International Version (NIV)
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