I apologize to anyone who has that 1978 Foreigner song in their head now.
I'm not writing about that song. Believe it or not, I'm writing about thomas
Traditionsays that Thomas went to India and is considered the one who introduced Christianity there. He became known as Thomas the Believer.
But the doubting Thomas name is the one that has ultimately survived.
What about the other nicknames for Thomas? In this week's Bible reading from John 20:19-31, there's another name - or two. Thomas is called "didymus," which means "the twin.
Didymus means 'twin' in Greek. And the Aramaic word for twin?
So Thomas the twin -- or twin twin-- (Some think his given name is really Jude and Thomas Didymus are nicknames) who wasn't there when Jesus appeared to the other disciples, doubted the appearance had happened. And then Jesus came again and showed Thomas. And Thomas believed -- exclaiming, "My Lord and My God!"
Jesus response, often seen as a rebuke, I think simply displays a reality. Thomas believed because he saw -- and blessed are the ones who will believe without seeing.
I tend to ponder that 'didymus' part a whole lot more. Was Thomas a twin? Is that why he wasn't with the disciples the first time? Was he visiting his twin? Did Thomas simply look like someone else -- another disciple or even Jesus -- and is that why he got the nickname? Is Thomas the nickname for Jude -- the brother of Jesus? Were they twins? Did they just look alike? Is there more to this simple word than the passage lets on?
Questions about our faith, our experience with God, our understanding of the Bible, and even our belief didn't start with Thomas and they certainly don't end with us. I believe we will continue to study, doubt, struggle, reject and misunderstand God for as long as we breathe.
So is there anything good about this doubt, struggle, rejection, and misunderstanding?
Well. . . maybe not. But God has given us minds to think and the ability to learn. Some can believe simply because they believe. Others ask a whole lot more questions.
God's neighborhood is big enough for the doubters and the believers. What do you think about that kind of double vision?