The twelve apostles included "Thomas" (Matt. 10:3).
When you think of Thomas, you probably think of a doubter. But if you look beyond his doubt, you'll see he was characterized by something that should mark every true believer: an intense desire to be with Christ.
John 10:39-40 tells us Jesus and His disciples left Jerusalem because of threats on Jesus' life. While they were staying near the Jordan River, Jesus received word that His dear friend Lazarus was sick. He delayed going to Lazarus because He didn't want merely to heal him, but to raise him from the dead.
Lazarus lived in Bethany--just two miles east of Jerusalem. So when Jesus decided to go there, His disciples were deeply concerned, thinking it would surely be a suicide mission (John 11:8). Despite the danger, Thomas said, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (v. 16). That's a pessimistic attitude, but it shows his courage and desire to be with Christ, whether in life or death. An optimist would expect the best, making it easier to go. Thomas expected the worst, but was willing to go anyway.
I believe Thomas couldn't bear the thought of living without Christ. He would rather die with Him than live without Him. That's also evident in John 14, where Jesus told the disciples He was going away to prepare a place for them. Thomas responded by saying in effect, "Lord, we don't know where you're going or how to get there. Please don't go somewhere we can't go!" (v. 5). He didn't understand what Jesus was going to do. All he knew was he didn't want to be separated from His Lord.
Can you identify with Thomas? Is Christ such an integral part of your daily decisions and activities that life without Him is unthinkable? Do you love Him so much you long to see Him? That was Thomas's passion. May it be yours as well.
Suggestions for Prayer:
For Further Study:
- Thank the Lord for His presence and power in your life.
- Demonstrate your love for Him by communing with Him often.
Read John 14:1-31.
- What did Jesus say about His return?
- Who would comfort and instruct the disciples in Christ's absence?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.