Eyewitness to Easter: Thomas, Does Not Understand

We have been discussing Thomas and his role as a disciple of Jesus.

The second time we hear Thomas speak is after Jesus has been preparing them for what’s to come.


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”    {John 14:1-4}

Jesus is preparing them for what is to come with his death, resurrection and ascension.  He is explaining he is going back to the Father to prepare a place for us. He has many rooms and He has to go and prepare a place in order to be able to return.

Thomas talking to Jesus

We have the luxury of hindsight to see and understand this.  However, the disciples didn’t understand any more than we probably would.  Notice what Thomas ask.

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”   {John 14:5}

The Message version states it this way. “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”  {John 14:5}

Thomas was not afraid of speaking up and asking questions. He did not mind contradicting Jesus and trying to figure out what he was asking or meant.

Matthew Henry explains “Thomas here, though he complains that he did not know this, yet seems more solicitous to know the way. His confession of his ignorance was commendable enough. If good men be in the dark, and know but in part, yet they are willing to own their defects. But The cause of his ignorance was culpable. They knew not whither Christ went, because they dreamed of a temporal kingdom in external pomp and power, and doted upon this, notwithstanding what he had said again and again to the contrary.

Thomas the apostle

Hence it was that, when Christ spoke of going away and their following him, their fancy ran upon his going to some remarkable { Bethlehem, or Nazareth, or Capernaum} …and to restore the kingdom to Israel; and which way this place lay, where these castles in the air were to be built, east, west, north, or south, they could not tell, and therefore knew not the way. Thus still we think ourselves more in the dark than we need be concerning the future state of the church, because we expect its worldly prosperity, whereas it is spiritual advancement that the promise points at. Had Thomas understood, as he might have done, that Christ was going to the invisible world, the world of spirits, to which spiritual things only have a reference, he would not have said, Lord, we do not know the way.”

Jesus responds by telling the disciples “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”   {John 14:6-7}

Only through Jesus can be come to the Father God and know him and live with him in eternity.

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