THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD APOSTLE

The Apostle Thomas

The synoptic gospels tell us how Jesus called his disciples to him and chose from among them twelve (12) who he designated 'Apostles' : (1) Simon, who he named Peter (2) Andrew, who is Peters' brother, (3) James and (4) John (5) Phillip (6) Bartholomew (7) Matthew (8) Thomas (9) James, son of Alphaeus (10) Simon the Zealot (11) Judas, son of James (12) Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. Luke 6:14-16

Most of the apostles, except for Peter, James, John, Thomas and Judas are left shrouded in a fair amount of historical obscurity. For the most part the Church has colored the apostles in a very positive light, all except one; the one we traditionally call ' Doubting Thomas'.

Thomas is the Hebrew word for 'Twin', while 'Didymus' is the Greek word for twin.

After leaving Jerusalem rather hurriedly, Jesus went back to the place where John had been baptizing. While at this place He received word from Mary and Martha that their brother, Lazarus, had died. Lazarus was from Bethany, a town about two (2) miles Southeast of Jerusalem. This was the vicinity where the Jews tried to stone Jesus to death. No wonder the disciples were very concerned with their safety when Jesus said, "let us go back to Judea". It is here that Thomas first shows his true colors, and breaks through a barrage of mental complacency and caragiously steps out on pure devotion, when he said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him". Thomas was obviously the first of the twelve to express a commitment to Christ even if it meant death.

Again, Jesus comforts his disciples telling them that he is going away to prepare a place for them so they can always be with him. Then he said something that I personally think was designed to evoke a specific reaction. He said, " You know the way to the place where I am going." John 14:4 Thomas, again, is the only one who rose to the occassion and articulated the pure honesty that was in his heart. Thomas said, " Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" John 14:5 Had Thomas not voiced his concern there would have been no reason for Jesus to respond in such an inspiring and eye opening way. Jesus responded in such a way that it became one of the most memorized parts of scripture to date : " I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." Thomas doubted no more than any of the other apostles.

Comments 13 comments

Iðunn 8 years ago

I love your perspectives because so many are something I've never considered from that light or specifically at all. Lovely hub, W.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai

Thank you for clarifying to us about the 'doubting' part of St Thomas.

Thomas is supposed to have been stoned to death at a hill 

called St Thomas Mount, Chennai, where I live, in India.

His remains are at San Thome Cathedral, also in Chennai.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

Wehzo-

Thank you for this wonderful observation. Several years ago, when I was teaching a group of teenagers, we also became involved with the study of Thomas. It was at that time that I came to have a profound love for him and felt that the title that has been given him is not fair to say the least. I have renamed him, Dedicated Thomas, for my own reference. Thanks for remembering this about him also.


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you Idunn, Kenny and In The Doghouse, I always appreciate your comments. Kenny I've been doing some additional studies on St. Thomas, for what I understand it was him who started the Eastern Church, that for the most part boycotted the meeting at the Council of Nicea. I will have to revisit my studies with him. In The Doghouse, you and I seem to share a certain fascination with the 'obscure' things. I look forward to gleaning more from your insights. There are others who comment on my hubs who contribute to my multi-faceted perspectives. The comments and questions I get help expand my studies. I thank you all again.


Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 8 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

Most definitely, Wehzo. If you don't ask, you don't receive. Too many of us don't ever ask, or rather are afraid to ask so we don't appear "doubting".


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

Wehzo -

I have always been grateful to the Apostle, Thomas. Many of us feel certain that we would NOT have doubted. I like the fact, that Thomas did doubt, and that it was recorded as well. One of the great strengths of those who are called of God to testify of Him, is that they too, have fallibility.

It is when we require a man, who represents God... in His place, to be perfect, as Christ is. This is precisely how we then are disappointed in them at some point, because they do not meet our standards of 'how they should be'.

Problem is... they never will. Many feel that Mormon's are keeping the commandments of a prophet. Not true. What if he were to fall, then what? Good news is, that there is no recorded history, of a fallen prophet.

I may have said this on one of your other Hubs, but that, one of the marks of Mormonism, is that each individual 'own' their testimony of Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, and not by any man, prophet or otherwise.

I learned a while ago, that questions invite revelation. Ask, seek, knock. This is the pattern to all knowledge. I have learned - to love, to ASK.

Asking is the window to heaven

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you Peter and LdsNana, I appreciate your valuable contributions. Peter, you are right about the questions. I always say, " If you ask the wrong questions, you get the wrong answers. If you ask no questions, you get no answers. The answer for me is you must continue to ask until the answer comes to rest in your own heart and mind. Lds-Nana, you too, are right, we must not hold any man to an unreasonable standard. The standard the Bible gives us is the ideal, many of which we could never reach in this life. They are meant, for the most part, to keep us moving in the right direction.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Wonderful hub - and conversation with commenters. I love hearing everyone's perspective. I appreciate the human weaknesses that we see in the Apostles. They start out quite ordinary and go onto to do such amazing things for God.


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you amy jane for your comment, and thanks for visiting.


Jordanvale profile image

Jordanvale 8 years ago from Lakeland, Fl

great insight, its so true how we tend to just disregard many of Jesus' disciples.


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you Jordanvale for your gracious comment, and thank you for visiting.


christinekv profile image

christinekv 8 years ago from Washington

Whezo - when I read the title to this hub prior to visiting, I sensed it was going to be Thomas! Thanks for sharing and I appreciate the comments left by others as well! I am convicted to not label him as 'doubting' Thomas anymore.


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you christinekv, I appreciate your gracious comment. I too, was convicted not to use that 'doubting' label when I began studying the apostles individually. Thank you for visiting.

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