Day 8 of the Waiting Room & Day 48 of the Omer
The Messiah picked His “Disciples by the Dozen”, and the Twelve became Apostles [minus Judas], after the Holy Spirit came upon them, as Yeshua prophesied! This happened on Shavuot [the Feast of Weeks], also known from the Greek as “Pentecost” [meaning 50 Days].
Imagine what the Disciples felt after their Messiah was seemingly dead, and what they probably thought was going to be their fatal ending too, as His followers. Let’s look at the “Outer Circle”, since Day 1 of the “WAITING ROOM” we examined the “Inner Circle” of Simon Peter [Shim’on Kefa], James [Ya’akov] and John [Yochanan], and Days 2-4, the “Supporting Circle”, with Andrew [Simon Peter’s brother], Philip [Friend of Bartholomew]; and Nathanael Bartholomew [Natan’El, Bar-Talemei]. Days 5-7 completed the “Surrounding Circle”, with Matthew Levi [Matityahu, HaLevi – “the Levite”] the Tax Collector or Publican, Judas the Zealot [Yehudah HaKanani] also known Labbaeus or Thaddeus and finally yesterday we looked at Simon the Cananite [Shim’on HaKanani] or like Judas, “Simon the Zealot”.
We will continue and look at the final concentric circle around Yeshua, as we examine the “Outer Circle”:
The Outer Circle:
10. Thomas [Tomas] – The Skeptic
11. James the Less [Ya`akov HaKatan] – Son of Alphaeus
12. Judas Iscariot [Yehudah Ish Kriyot – Judah a Man from Kriyot] – Betraying Accountant
Let’s “zone in” on Thomas [or Tomas in Greek], who was considered a “skeptic”, or “Doubting Thomas”.
Thomas, called Didymus (meaning “Twin,” as does “Thomas” in Aramaic”) was one of the 12 Disciples of Yeshua. Thomas is known for questioning Yeshua’s resurrection when he was first told it, and he declared the famous statement “My Lord and my God” when he saw Yeshua alive in John 20:28.
Yeshua appears to some of the disciples, but Thomas was not with them the first time. John 20:25 says, “So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he [Thomas] 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.'”
Eight days later, Yeshua appears before His disciples again: “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Yeshua came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you [Shalom Aleichem] !’ 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 Yeshua told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ (John 20:26-29).
Even though Thomas earned a negative label, he was not lacking in some very good qualities. He displayed great courage and loyalty. When the other disciples tried to keep Yeshua from going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead because of the danger from those in the area who had just earlier tried to stone Him (John 11:8), Thomas said to them, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (John 11:16). Thomas also asked Him one of the most famous questions. John 14:5-6 says, “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Yeshua answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
In the “upper room”, Thomas would have been the “realist”, needing “hard, cold facts”, or proof, before he stepped out. Shoud he be labeled the “skeptic”, or “Doubting Thomas”, when he was ready to lay his life down for the reality that Yeshua truly was the Messiah of Israel, and Redeemer of the Nations of the World. He was looking for reasonable evidence for the Final Redemption, and the reestablishment of the Davidic Dynasty, of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth again, as it was under Kind David, and his son Solomon [Sh’lomo]. He would probably be better described at “Thomas, the Analyst”.
We are often like Thomas, although we put him down for “doubting”. We could carry that negative label for our unbelief, until we learn to “cast all our cares” on Yeshua, and “Trust in the LORD with all our heart”, instead of focusing on only facts for our head. REASON is important, but RELATIONSHIP is Essential, to following the Messiah.