The one called Didymus

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.
— John 20:24-25

The whole doubting Thomas or disbelieving Thomas stuff sort of floats on by me like it is no more interested in me than I am in it.

Is it that I’m not John 20:24-29’s type? It’s possible that this Scripture sees me and says moving right along.

Or maybe I am insensitive. This particular hang-up is a world away from mine on the spectrum of faith struggles and so I lack empathy.

In a nutshell, the other disciples say that they have seen the Lord. Thomas says no way. If you or I were to experience the execution of a loved one, I imagine we would be similarly slow to absorb the possibility of a future with hope.

Sure, I might be sticking up for Thomas but that is hardly original. Plus, I’m not convinced he needs defending! The text as it is does not condemn him. It reports what happened on the eighth day (v.26).

What does intrigue me is the thought of those days in-between – the week Thomas spent somewhere, somehow. Did he spend those feeling left out or alienated? Unable to genuinely participate in whatever the others were doing? John 20:24-29 may have my attention after all.

Our Scripture says that the one called Didymus wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came on the first day (v.24). Thomas missed out on and sometimes when we miss out we feel cast aside, even if that was never anyone’s intention.

About that heart-space of lacking whatever it takes to get to where others are (literally or figuratively): We can languish there. Sometimes we can do what we need to do to get back on the field. Other times, God has to enter in and rearrange the landscape; or at least shift how we are experiencing it.

Jesus came for Thomas. Jesus came for him like he was not about to let one of the twelve, his twelve, perish on Isolation Island. That Risen One, he’s something else. Like they used to sing, He’s in no ways tired.


Rachel May