Thomas the Apostle: the one who asked questions

3 July is the feast of Thomas the Apostle, one of Jesus' 12 disciples and possibly the person who took the gospel to India. If you want a brief biography of Thomas the Apostle from the Bible and later traditions, you can find one here.

I have always warmed to Thomas. I like the way he asks questions and wants to discover things for himself rather than rely on 2nd hand evidence, even from trusted people in his own group. Any new movement or ancient institution needs people who have the courage to ask honest questions, even when that disturbs accepted truth.

Malcolm Guite's post 'Thank God for doubting Thomas' includes his sonnet St Thomas the Apostle. I particularly like how he describes Thomas as:
"Courageous master of the awkward question,
you spoke the words that others dare not say
and cut through their evasion and abstraction."
You can read the text or listen to Malcolm's reading of the whole sonnet here.

'Is believing: hearing, seeing or doing?' is the question I asked in a post on the Big Bible Project. It is about Thomas' declaration of faith described in John 20: 19 - 31 when, as Tom Wright describes it:
"Thomas leap-frogs over all the others, from radical doubt to robust faith."
(Wright, N.T., Lent for Everyone:Year B, SPCK 2012)

Thomas's Story for 5th Sunday of Lent Year A is a reflective meditation - my attempt earlier this year to put myself in Thomas's shoes at the scene of Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead.

Doubting Thomas? I don't think so. Courageous Thomas, faithful Thomas, thinking Thomas, honest Thomas - yes.



Image Credit: Pixaby, public domain

Comments

  1. Thomas is one of my big inspirations, questioning, perhaps doubting, but ultimately seeing through to the essential truth.

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    Replies
    1. Someone has to stick their neck out and ask the question no-one else dare ask - people with the courage to do that often open doors for the more reticent.

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