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Apostle Thomas

 

Thoma Sleeha

 

Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus .

 

 

 

Mat 10:2 4

These are the names of the twelve apostles:
first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew;
James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
 Philip and Bartholomew;

Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James son of Alphaeus,

and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

 

Thomas in Hebrew means "The Twin". So he was also known as "Didymus" which meant 'The Twin' in Greek. It obviously implies that Thomas was the twin brother of some other known person.  It has been conjectured that Thomas was the twin brother of Matthew, Some legends make Thomas the twin of James. What was his real name?  All tradition ascribe the name Judas Thomas which makes his real name as Jude or Judas.  In the lists of the apostles Thomas is always mentioned along with Matthew, who was the son of Alphaeus (Mark 3:18), and that these two are always followed by James, who was also the son of Alphaeus.  Hence it may be assumed that these three, Matthew, Thomas, and James, were brothers.

 

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"The Gnostics considers Thomas as the twin brother of Jesus. We have no evidence for this in the Bible.

Early Church historian Eusebius in his "Ecclesiastical History" gives the story of how Edessa came to be Christian. Edessa was a small Kingdom in Syria and at time of Jesus, Abgar Ukomo was its king. Abgar wrote a letter to Jesus as folows:

 

Abgar Ukomo, the toparch, to Jesus the good Savior who has appeared in the district of Jerusalem, greetings. I have heard concerning you and your cures, how they are accomplished by you without drugs and herbs ... And when I heard of all these things concerning you I decided that it is one of two things, either that you are God and came down from Heaven to do these things, or are the Son of God for doing these things. For this reason I write to beg you to hasten to me and to heal the suffering which I have ...

 

Our savior replied to Abgar and the reply was sent through Ananias. The letter says as follows:

Blessed are you who believed in me, not having seen me ... Now concerning what you wrote to me, to come to you, I must first complete here all for which I was sent, and after thus completing it be taken up to Him who sent me; and when I have been taken up, I will send to you one of my disciples to heal your suffering and give life to you and those with you.

After the resurrection of Jesus, Jesus did sent Thadues, one of the Seventy disciples to Abgar and healed him. This Thadeus was the twin brother of Thomas.. "

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Even though the references to Thomas are few, they are sufficient to give us insight into this great rationalist scientist. Once committed he was willing to die for the cause.  So when Jesus was planning to return to Jerusalem where people waiting to kill him, Thomas volunteered and encouraged his fellow brothren to dare to accompany Jesus even to death.

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John 11:16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

When Jesus began to speak of a heavenly abode, Thomas wanted a clearer explanation of where, when and how?
John 14:2-6 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

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Thomas is also known as "The Doubting Thomas", because he demanded an objective proof of evidence for resurrection.

 

Thomas was the first disciple who confessed and acknowledged, Jesus as

"My God and My Lord"

John 20:24 -29 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
 

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."

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

In terms of Rom. 10:10 Thomas may be considered as the first Christian and was saved .

Rom 10:10  For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.

 

In all these Thomas is presented as a rational scientist who demanded evidence.  He came to Bhakthi (faith) through Jnana (Knowledge) and then went on to his business as a Karma (Action) yogi thus fully encompassing the dimensions of Spirit, Mind and Body.

JNANA YOGA - realization through Knowledge, objective scientific verification of truth
BHAKTHI YOGA - realization through Devotion (commitment).
KARMA YOGA - realization through Action,