St Thomas the realist not doubter He is an apostle and believes what is real


#1

St. Thomas the Apostle is not doubting Thomas he is St. Thomas the realistic. Imagine this:

You saw your cousing crushed in an industrial accident. His body was so disfigured that he couldn’t have an open casket funeral.

A week after the funeral and burial, your family and cousins joyously report talking to him. You think they have gone crazy

You say diplomatically say, "I will believe you when I shake his right hand (it was flattened and severed in the accident) and then walk around the garden with him (his legs went through the shredder).

Would you believe their reported story or common sense? People do not rise from the dead, or so you think. Isn’t it more realistic to believe that he is dead and gone instead of walking around healthy with all body parts functioning?

And so I ask again, why was he a doubter and not a realist?


#2

Well, that analogy doesn’t quite work, though it is interesting in what it does imply.

The difference is that Jesus did two things: He told the disciples multiple times that He was going to be resurrected on the third day, and He revealed to the disciples that He was the Christ. The hypothetical cousin did neither of those things.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean St. Thomas wasn’t a realist as you’re saying. It could be that his realist view of the incident led him to take his sense of logic and put it above his faith; he’d have thought something along the lines of, “Yeah, Jesus told us He was going to be resurrected, but it still can’t be Him here because that’s not how the world works.” And that’s where the doubting comes from; his doubt is a lack of faith brought about by taking his view of what the world logically should be like and putting that before his faith in the resurrection. This means that being a doubter and a realist aren’t mutually exclusive.

I don’t think we can say he was for sure, but there is a possibility that St. Thomas was a realist, at least before he saw and believed. I’d think after that, he’d be less of a realist than before and would have a greater faith.


#3

St Thomas had accompanied Jesus on his public ministry. He saw the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers cured, the ill cured. He witnessed his amazing works. He heard him teach and preach and prophecy of his death and resurrection.

When all this was done and said, he still in spite of himself remained baffled when he saw the risen Christ, although his doubt didn’t turn out to be obstinate. He put his fingers to the wounds and believed.


#4

His sin was withholding TRUST in Jesus’ words,
in Heb. 10:38 quoting Hab. 2:4 says:“But my right-
eous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back,
My soul shall have no pleasure in him”
Thomas was ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, and
denied the Power of God lacking in faith, see Rom.
1:16-17. He was not living by faith, but by the Law
see Gal. 3:11-13.


#5

I always felt kinda bad for St. Thomas “the doubter”. In my weaker moments I was asked once, “Don’t you you have any faith, do you want to be like St. Thomas?” Actually yeah, he was a Saint after all. His “doubting” never struck me as out right refusal to believe, but as “I want to believe this! I really really do! But it’s too much to hope for. When I see him I will drop my doubt. Lord, show me yourself that I may rejoice again.” I could see him weeping with a despairing hope. Poor Thomas was discouraged and sad, not a jerk.


#6

No, no – Thomas was definitely a Doubter, not like the rest of the faith-filled apostles.

Don’t you remember the story of how on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the cenacle and annouced *“The tomb is empty! He has been raised! I have seen the LORD!” *and all the apostles believed her??

:rolleyes:
Neither do I.

*Doubting *Peter and *Doubting *John ran off to the tomb to see for themselves! But they don’t get saddled with that epithet… Bah.

tee
Perhaps you can guess what *tee *stands for? :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

No, Thomas believed only what he could see and feel. Things that are real can’t always be seen and felt. The real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus comes immediately to mind in that context.


#8

Actually, no, he didn’t; at least, the Bible doesn’t tell us that he did. Rather, his faith wasn’t at all as ‘realistic’ as he proclaimed it to be in a moment of emotional outburst. Jesus appeared to him, inviting him to touch His wounds… and the next line in the story says that Thomas believed. (Yes, Caravaggio interprets it to be an actual physical probing of the wounds… but the Bible never tells us that this is the case!)

So, we have a man who, having known his Lord to have been killed, disputes with humans over His resurrection… but who, coming face-to-face with his Lord, believes when he hears his Lord’s voice.


#9

I think it was Dorothy Sayers that pointed out that the other apostles knew that Jesus had risen. St Thomas went beyond this; he realized that if Jesus had risen then He was God. He needed more than someone else’s word to believe this.


#10

Thanks Joe.
Finally a common sense answer.
Is your nick name “Francis” as in “de Sales”?

a


#11

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