Thomas has endured a lot of character abuse through the years. He has been condemned as a hopeless doubter and criticized for his lack of faith when the resurrected Jesus first appeared to his followers. But Thomas was really no worse than the other disciples. They, too, forsook Jesus when He was arrested in the Garden. Matthew 26:56, “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” None of them believed in the resurrection until they had seen Jesus alive again.
John 20:19-20, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.“
When the disciples told Thomas they had seen the Lord and that He was live, Thomas did not accept their testimony as the truth. He said in John 20:25, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Thomas wanted a personal conviction, a personal knowledge of the truth, carefully thought out and tested by personal experience. It was not that he doubted the word of the other disciples, it is just that he wanted to know for himself.
And perhaps this is the main point of Thomas’ life: that faith must be personal, based upon a personal knowledge, and application of the Word (both the Living Word, Jesus, and the written Word, the Bible) to your own heart and mind. You as a Christian cannot live off someone else’s faith; your parents, your pastors, your friends. You must know for yourself. When you take your doubts and your honest desires for the truth to the Living and the written Word, you will find the answers.
You, like Thomas, will be able to know Jesus really is the Master. You really can serve Him with the utmost of confidence.