The scripture for today, November 16 (11/16), is John 11:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Then Thomas…said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go that we may die with him.’
This apostle is most often called “Doubting Thomas.” We’ve all heard the story about Thomas being absent when Jesus appeared to the other apostles, then later said he wouldn’t believe Jesus was alive again unless he could touch him. Well, the other apostles hadn’t believed until they saw him either.
After returning to life, Jesus first appeared to the women. Then, “when they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others…But they did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:9-11).
Now let’s look at our scripture for today. In the months before Jesus’ death, he had been traveling everywhere except to Judea where Jerusalem and the religious leaders were. Those leaders had plans to kill Jesus, and everyone knew it. Then Lazarus got sick just six miles from Jerusalem and his sisters begged Jesus to come heal him. It was dangerous for Jesus to go there. He didn’t go and Lazarus died.
John 11:7-8 says, “Then he [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’ ‘But Rabbi,’ they said, ‘a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?’ “
After explaining that he needed to get to Lazarus, it was Thomas who bravely spoke up and said, “Let us also go that we may die with him!”
Later, when Thomas did finally see Jesus, he called him “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
Doubting Thomas? Far from it! Brave Thomas. Devoted Thomas. Thomas who was willing to follow his Lord to the death. Thomas who was the first to call him God. That was the real Thomas.
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