It’s quite surprising how some of the names we give to stories and characters in the Bible are so wide of the mark when we read them carefully. For instance, the story of the Prodigal Son would be much better entitled the story of the Prodigal Father. The same is true of the saint we celebrate on 3rd July, Thomas the Twin, one of the Apostles. Thomas has gone down in history as doubting Thomas. He’d be far better and more accurately called faithful Thomas.
Look at the stories that we have about him in the New Testament. Thomas is so convinced of Jesus’ earthly worth and goodness that he out of all the disciples suggests that they should die with Jesus when he talks about his impending death in Jerusalem. All the others think that Jesus is mistaken. Similarly when we read the story of Thomas meeting the risen Lord after the resurrection he is the one who sinks to his knees and proclaims the fullness of faith: ‘My Lord and my God’.
The encounter of Jesus and Thomas in this story is one of the most powerful parts of the whole New Testament. Here we have a man who has seen Jesus die, and may well have seen him dead. He is so rational and so realistic that he won’t be swayed by the words of others. And then he meets the risen Lord for himself and realises the truth – and falls on his knees in acknowledgement.
May Thomas pray for us who have not seen and yet believe that Jesus is Lord and God.