John 20:19-31 â€“ First Sunday after Easter â€“ for April 7, 2013
â€œA week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them . . .â€ (John 20:26)
This is from the Gospel of Markâ€™s (3:13â€¦) list of Jesusâ€™ disciples:
James (son of Alphaeus)
Peter (or Simon)
Simon (the Cananaean)
For completely manipulative reasons, I put Markâ€™s list in alphabetical order. Iâ€™ll explain my manipulation later.
But, whether alphabetical or as written by any of the Gospels, name for name, Matthew (4:23â€¦) agrees with Markâ€™s list. Luke (6:12â€¦) apparently swaps Thaddaeus for Judas, son of James. The Gospel of John has no list.
Of the above listed disciples, whom would you prefer to write an essay about?
Maybe Peter? Heâ€™s probably the best known. Judas, infamous, will forever intrigue people within or outside the Christian faith. If I wanted an essay to be blessedly brief, Iâ€™d finger Thaddaeus. Who? As noted, Lukeâ€™s list doesnâ€™t include him. The only place Thaddaeus received recognition occurred in Mark and Matthew where he landed on their top twelve roll calls. Unless I concocted juicy stuff about Thaddaeus, my essay could be completed in a terse paragraph.
And then thereâ€™s Thomas. If only Mark, Matthew, and Luke were read, Thomas would be as familiar as Thaddaeus. Who?
But Johnâ€™s Gospel puts Thomas front and center. Or maybe, itâ€™s more correct to say Johnâ€™s Gospel puts Thomas front and off center.
During many Easter seasons, in the Sunday after the resurrection is celebrated, when the lilies have wilted and the sanctuaryâ€™s less crowded, Thomas (from John 20:19-31) makes one of his pivotal appearances. And he does seem off center, for he aloneâ€”according to Johnâ€”had not yet seen the risen Christ. Thomas will claim that unless he sees â€œthe mark of the nailâ€ in Jesusâ€™ hands, he wonâ€™t believe.
The doubter. Doubting Thomas. Continue reading →