Saint Thomas the Apostle or Doubting Thomas
Thomas, also known as Saint Thomas the Apostle or Doubting Thomas, was one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Here’s what we know about Thomas:
Disciple of Jesus
Thomas was one of Jesus’ closest followers and was counted among the original twelve apostles. He is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Thomas is often referred to as “Doubting Thomas” due to an incident described in the Gospel of John. After Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas expressed skepticism about the news of Jesus’ appearance to the other disciples, stating that he would only believe if he could see and touch Jesus’ wounds. Jesus later appeared to Thomas and allowed him to touch His wounds, leading Thomas to proclaim, “My Lord and my God.”
According to tradition and ancient accounts, Thomas played a significant role in spreading the Christian faith after Jesus’ death. He is associated with missionary activities in various regions, including India. It is believed that Thomas traveled to India, specifically the Malabar Coast, where he preached the Gospel and established Christian communities. The Christian community in India known as the Saint Thomas Christians claims descent from these early efforts.
Traditionally, Thomas is believed to have faced martyrdom for his faith. According to early Christian accounts, he was martyred in India, where he was pierced with a spear or a lance. The exact details surrounding his martyrdom, however, vary in different traditions and historical accounts.
Thomas’ Belief and Teachings
Despite his initial doubt, Thomas became a steadfast believer in Jesus Christ. His proclamation, “My Lord and my God,” is considered a powerful declaration of faith. Thomas’ story highlights the transformative nature of encountering the risen Christ and the significance of faith even in the face of doubt.
Thomas remains an important figure in Christian tradition and is venerated as a saint in various Christian denominations. His journey from doubt to unwavering faith serves as a powerful example for believers seeking reassurance and conviction in their own spiritual journeys.
John 20:27-29New International Version
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”