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Both Jesus and Thomas were from Galilee. The apostle Thomas, also known as Didymus (the twin), was a fisherman, but Scripture does not reveal who his twin was.
After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Thomas went to Babylon and established the first Christian Church in that country.
Thomas preached the Gospel in Persia, China, and India, and was evangelizing in India when he became a martyr, (many believe) on December 21st.
He was killed with a lance and buried in Mylapore, India, (the present-day suburb of Madras).
Verses 24: "Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
We are not told where Thomas was when the Lord presented Himself to the other disciples.
Jesus made numerous appearances in the forty days after His resurrection, but we are not told where He stayed.
Verse 25: So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe."
The other disciples had seen and talked with the Lord, and had even touched the "mark of the nails," and they had related to Thomas all of the events of their meeting.
Thomas did not doubt that the other disciples had seen something, but could not grasp the reality of their experience.
Thomas had not regarded the fulfilled prophecies, or the Words of Jesus that He would rise again on the third day; Nor did he give proper consideration to the testimonies of the disciples who had seen Him.
It is interesting that Christ did not appear to Thomas until after he had rejoined the rest of the disciples.
Verse 26: "Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
This is the second appearance of Jesus to the disciples after His resurrection. The conditions were the same as the first, except that this time Thomas was there.
The disciples were there, and with the doors closed and locked, Jesus suddenly "stood among them," and said, "Peace be unto you."
Thomas, like the others, had once vowed that he would die with the Lord, and also like the others, had failed. After the Resurrection of Jesus, he had returned, and there was Jesus to meet him.
There is little doubt but that the second appearance was for the benefit of Thomas, (and perhaps us). His response this time was to worship Jesus and to bear witness of His deity.
Verse 27: "Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe."
Was this not a dramatic event! "Put your finger here! And see my hands; place your hand in my side!"
Jesus had every right and reason to leave Thomas in his unbelief, however, in His great love for Thomas, and for all of humanity, He merely says, "Do not disbelieve, but believe."
Christ has nothing to hide, nothing to cover up, no issues to evade, nothing to avoid.
His invitation to all doubters is the same as to Thomas; investigate for yourself! Test the evidence, and, like Thomas, be not faithless but believing.
Verse 28-29: "Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
This enlightening statement by Thomas is considered to be among the greatest confessions ever made and is only one of ten "New Testament" passages proclaiming that Jesus is God.
Verse 29: Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Jesus was thinking of those who would later base their faith upon the Message of His disciples. Though with some admonition Thomas is instantly forgiven and accepted back into the fold. This is an excellent example of how Christ forgives any of His Followers who have strayed.
The Purpose of This Book
Verse 30-31: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name"
Although the Gospel of John provides material found nowhere else in Scripture, he assures us that only a fraction of the works of Jesus is reported.
If John's Book had been written for entertainment or financial gain,
every circumstance would have been given to brighten the story.
John was an eyewitness to the events, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Faith and belief in Jesus are essential in receiving salvation and eternal life,
John's mission was to present proof that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, God the Son in human form; and to convey the message that all who place their faith in Him will receive eternal life.
This concludes our study of, Jesus and Thomas."
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