The Apostle Thomas (the Twin)

Baptist Preacher Ed Young, who broadcasts a weekly Gospel program called the Winning Walk, recently was talking about the Apostle Thomas. He commented that nowhere in the Bible do we find mention of Apostle Thomas’s twin.

“We are his twin,” he said.

Doubting Thomas? We doubt, don’t we?

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI in his weekly audience spoke about Thomas. It later became a book, as he highlighted each of the Apostles.

We find Thomas in the Bible:

Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 – where Thomas is listed after Matthew as one of the Disciples. We see him listed after Philip in Acts 1:13.

John 11:16 where Jesus is about to go and raise Lazarus from the dead. The threats to His life are real, and Thomas indicates he is ready to die with Him, demonstrating a closeness to Jesus, and a lesson for us to never move that far away.

Thomas has truly taken up his cross and followed Him (Matthew 16:24-26).

At the last supper, we see Thomas asking a question (John 14:5) that many biblical scholars believe he should have known the answer to. Jesus is telling His disciples He is going away, and they know the way (John 14:4). It allows Jesus to tell us, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).”

But Thomas asked. He wasn’t afraid. We should ask in prayer as well whenever something ever confuses us.

After the resurrection, in John 20:24, we see Thomas being told by the other disciples that they saw the Lord alive. Thomas was not present.  In the next verse (v.25), Thomas indicates that “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.”

It is where the popular phrase “Doubting Thomas” comes from.

“My Lord and My God”

(John 20:25-29) – (26) Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” (27) Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”(28) Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (29) Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

I often confess “My Lord and My God,” when thinking about Jesus.

Finally, we see Thomas listed second after Peter, when a group of the disciples were going fishing (John 21:2), and Jesus appears to them for the 3rd time.

Jesus Had a Unique Ability to See the Father’s Providential Activities

John 5:19

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

Commentary

The footnote in the ESV Study Bible states that “only what He sees the Father doing may imply that Jesus had a unique ability to see the Father’s providential activities in the events of everyday life, activities that are ordinarily invisible to human beings.”

Who Was He? Was this Mark the Evangelist?

Mark 14:50-52 (TLB)

Meanwhile, all his disciples had fled. There was, however, a young man following along behind, clothed only in a linen nightshirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he escaped, though his clothes were torn off in the process, so that he ran away completely naked.

Commentary

Who was he?

An interesting tidbit here. As Jesus is arrested, after being betrayed by Judas, but before He is led before the Chief Priests, the above passage appears. Only in the Gospel of Mark. 

Who is this?

Scholars believe it is Mark himself, the author of one of the three Synoptic Gospels, and it appears only in the Gospel he wrote.

We see John Mark elsewhere in the Bible:

In Acts, Chapter 12:4-11, when Peter escapes during the night, after being double-chained, and heavily guarded (of course with God’s help) he goes to the house of Mary, mother of John, whom they call Mark (Acts 12:12)(ESV).

In Acts12:25 (ESV) – And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark. 

And in Acts 13:5 (ESV) – When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them.

Further, In Acts 13:8 (ESV) – Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem,

Acts 15:37-39 (ESV) – Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus,

Back on good terms with Paul he appears in Colossians 4:10.

In 2 Timothy 4:11, we see both Luke and Mark – Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.

In Philemon1:24 we see Paul sending greetings from Mark, Luke, and others.

Peter calls Mark his son in 1 Peter 5:13. I read elsewhere he became Peter’s right hand, indispensable to him.

Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

John 12:1-8 (ESV)

(1) Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. (2) So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. (3) Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (4) But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, (5) “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (6) He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. (7) Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. (8) For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

Commentary

I must have read the Gospel of John thousands of times. As usual, you notice something new every time. I just started to read the English Standard Version (ESV), a gift for Father’s Day. BTW – it is excellent. They bought me the study version

You will also find similar passages in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9.

Matthew and Mark identify the house as Simon the Leper. In John, I always thought it was at the house of Lazarus, (Mary and Martha lived there too). It never says that. Martha serves. Lazarus reclines at table, and Mary anoints Jesus’ feet. 

Matthew and Mark do not identify the woman as Mary.

Mary in John 12:3 anoints Jesus’ feet. Matthew and Mark indicate His head. Scholars believe both (head and feet) were anointed, assuming the large quantity, e.g., a pound, alabaster flask.

Footnotes highlight attending to feet is the work of servants, (see John 1:27 and John 13:5). It shows humility and devotion.

One of my favorite ladies in the Bible. Her devotion to Jesus is amazing.