Thomas - From Pouter to Doubter to Shou[...]
Microsoft Word document [52.0 KB]
Thomas - From Pouter to Doubter to Shout[...]
Microsoft Power Point presentation [1.9 MB]
Thomas - From Pouter to Doubter to Shou[...]
Microsoft Word document [26.5 KB]

From Pouter to Doubter to Shouter

John 20:24-29



We know less about Thomas than some of the disciples.  We don't know his trade or how or when Jesus called him.  [unlike several others]


He may have been a twin.  Thomas is Aramaic for twin.  Didymus is Greek for twin.  We could speculate that Matthew was his twin, because they are often listed together.  But we don't know.


Back in high school I dated a girl who had a twin and I had the hardest time telling them apart.  One day it dawned on me:  Her brother was slightly taller than she was!


Have you ever confused someone for their twin?  You see your 'friend' in public and give a friendly 'hi' and they say, 'hello?'  How rude!


Some of you gave birth to twins.  How many of you have a twin?  Fraternal like ours?  Identical?


There are only about a dozen verses about Thomas...all in John, most in today's passage.  And so for 2,000 years he has gotten a lot of bad press because he doubted.  What's his nickname?  Doubting Thomas!


But here's a couple of positives about him first.



John 11:14-16
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

Why did Thomas say this?  In order for Jesus to go to Lazarus, He has to go back to Bethany, just 2 miles from Jerusalem, where Jesus is a marked man.  The Pharisees are already conspiring to have them all killed, and the disciples know it.  And yet Thomas is willing!

        He may be known as a doubter but he was devoted...even unto death.  We must emulate this!  Christians are being killed all over the world today, and that could swiftly come to a nation near you!  We have underground missionaries we support who put their lives on the line every day.  Are you willing to follow Jesus, even unto death?



Thomas always wanted to be close to where Jesus was. 

John 14:1-6
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

You may see some doubting in Thomas' statement, but if you look closely, you will sense that he just wants to stay close to Jesus.  He wants to go with Him if possible, just as he intended to join Him in going to Lazarus' tomb.


Jesus answered Thomas' question because it was sincere.

        And we ought to do whatever it takes to be as close to Jesus as we possibly can!  We should want to go where He is...which today, is heaven!  Do you need to make sure?  I don't care if you are a deacon, a s.s. teacher, a pastor's kid, or a long time member.  Put your pride in one pocket, your dignity in the other, and do the respectable thing and make sure! [pastor's wife!]


Thomas was courageous and loyal!  But now, back to the down side in our text...


1.     Thomas the Pouter.

Jesus had been crucified, and it was the 3rd day, and the disciples are gathered in a room with the door bolted tight.  They thought they would soon be arrested/killed.  Jesus appeared miraculously without knocking on the door.  There are 10 of them.  We know what happened to Judas...but where is Thomas?


A quick examination of what we know about Thomas reveals his basic makeup is that of a pessimist.  Many scholars believe he must have been off feeling sorry for himself - pouting, if you will.

        Some people see the down side of every situation...the dark cloud behind the silver lining.  Their glass is always half empty! 


ill.--Eeyore:  "Mornin' Pooh...if it is a good mornin'."  "Weather's still bad...but at least we haven't had an earthquake...lately!"


Have you ever worked with someone like that?  Lived with?


He thought the worst case scenario.  [go to Lazarus and die / Jesus is leaving us forever!]

        The Christian disciple should say, “Jesus can walk on water and raise the dead...we'll be ok, no matter what!”


On this day in our text he just knows his worst fear has come true.  He would be alone and forsaken forever...his hopes were crushed.  His heart was irreparably torn.  He felt awful, and didn't want to feel better. [been there?]  He certainly wasn't in the mood for socializing.  He would rather be alone.  He couldn't be in a crowd right now, even if they were friends.  So rather than attend the first ever Sunday service without Jesus, he would wallow in his sadness alone!


What Thomas missed:

  • The presence of the Lord.  v. 19


  • The power of the Lord. 

Jesus either walked through that wall or materialized out of thin air.  What a demonstration of power!  It was a physical body that could touch and eat, and yet it was glorified...not limited to the 3 dimensions of our world!  And one day we will have bodies like that!


  • The peace of the Lord.

They weren't all negative, but they were all human.  They had a lot of fear and nerves about all that was going on around them.  Remember when they were in a boat in a storm?  Jesus said Peace be still, and those waves lay down like a whipped pup.  Now again they hear Him say Peace, and it changed everything.  Thomas missed it! 


  • The proof of the Lord.  v. 20a

Jesus now has a glorified body, but He chose to retain His scars.  We all have scars, but we won't in heaven.  [I have one from when I was riding my bike and was struck by a parked car.  I never claimed to be intelligent!]

Even to this day in heaven, and forevermore Jesus' scars exist as an eternal reminder to us in heaven as to how we got there!


  • The praises of the Lord. v. 20b

What an understatement!  Can you imagine how they must've felt?  His presence leads us to praise!  Or at least it should.  Some folks come to church with a face so long it'd take all week to shave it!


  • The precepts of the Lord. v. 21

His mandate is our mandate.  His mission is our mission.  His motive is our motive!  Thomas missed it.


  • The promise of the Lord. vv. 22-23

This was a foreshadowing of what would happen to them in 90 days at Pentecost, when they would receive the Holy Spirit.


Hebrews 10:25
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

When we forsake the assembly of our church, whether it is because we are discouraged, depressed, tired, hurting, is then that we need to be around other believers the most!  Look at what we miss out on when Jesus shows up and we do not!  And this was an evening service.  Those are often our best around here...and some of you would never know it!


I'm the Pastor, and yet many times I don't want to come!  But there are 2 main times when I should come:  When I feel like it and when I don't!


Now, people get sick and have to work jobs or in kid's ministries.  Get online and get the message and come the next time and get the fellowship too!


You see, God is omnipresent, He is everywhere.  And He is personally present in the life of a believer.  But in the assembly at church, He is DYNAMICALLY present!  This means there is a variation of His presence here that you won't find anywhere else.  It’s the difference between looking at a simulation of a fireplace on your TV vs. feeling the warmth of a real one in person…He's present here in a way that He is not present with you at any other time.  And we shouldn't be able to get enough of that!


"Where two or more are gathered, there am I in the midst." - Jesus

    He's not talking about His omnipresence or His personal presence.  He's talking about a dynamic manifestation that He delivers only to the church!  And I feel it!  How about you!  In our worship, in our testimonies, in the preaching - it's real and undeniable!


There truly is strength in numbers - the Bible said it first...and He inhabits the praise of His people!  And we miss it all when we stay home.


He works here in power through the preaching of His Word...and it's different even than in our private devotions.  It's a different dynamic, and it is special.  The biggest and best decisions of my life were highly impacted by preaching services at the churches where God has put me.  Let me ask you, Where has He put you?  Might you be missing out on some of what He has planned for you?


Don't let feelings rule.  I've gone to services before where I walked in feeling so down and small that I could sit on a curb and my feet would dangle.  But I left on top of the world having met with God and God's people and having heard from God's Book and God's Spirit!  He knew exactly what I needed!


There's something uniquely special about coming together and praising the Lord together with a group of like-minded believers in unity!


2.     Thomas the Doubter.

It's not fair for him to be forever remembered this way.

When Jesus met with all 10 disciples on resurrection Sunday He did 3 things:


  • He reassured them as He showed them the nail prints. 

Why?  Because at first they thought it was a ghost or a spirit.  Can you blame them?

ill.--imagine you go to the funeral of a good friend and see their body lying in state, and you watch at the graveside as they lower that body into the ground.  3 days later you walk into your house and there they sit on your couch!

    They needed some reassurance that He was real...lest they soil themselves!


  • He re-commissioned them in v. 21

He said you will take over for me on earth!  Now He has no hands but ours!  We are His voice on the planet.


  • He enabled them in v. 22

Jesus doesn't just give them orders, but ordinance! [ammo]


When these 3 things happened, Thomas was not there.  The disciples soon saw him and told him they had seen the Lord, and naturally he thinks they saw a ghost or something!  And he's not going to be set up for more disappointment.


He made this one remark and now he has this nickname for ages.  In heaven, will he have a name tag that says Doubting Thomas?!

    Isn't it sad that we can make one stupid mistake and be branded for life?! 


Thomas is human, and he is not alone.  The track record of the other disciples is no better.  They also scoffed when they first heard He was alive...

Mark 16:9-11
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

Doubting Peter, doubting James, doubting Matthew, doubting Philip, etc.

Luke 24:9-11
9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

All these eyewitnesses and they don't believe.  [Women esteemed low in those days?]

Mark 16:12-13
12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

Now it is a man or two.


Also notice that in all cases, even Thomas', it never says they doubted, but they believed not.  Unbelief is the true problem of the human heart.


Doubt is in the mind.  Unbelief is in the heart.


Some get assurance of salvation because they had some doubt.  They had questions they needed answered.  Once their questions were answered, they had no more doubt.

    But when somebody doesn't believe, it's difficult to change their 'mind' by just presenting facts.  Heart problems run deep!


    Some people cannot find God for the same reason that a criminal can't find a police officer.


Doubt is an intellectual problem.  Unbelief is a moral problem.


Jesus never rebuked their doubt, rather their unbelief.

Mark 16:14
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

Back to our text...

John 20:27b         'Be not faithless, but believing.'

    Here's where the unbelieving heart really shows.  These guys not only don't believe the eyewitness testimonies, but they also reveal that they didn't believe what Jesus Himself had said about 6 months previous to this.  At least 5 times He had told them He would be killed and would rise again.

Mark 9:31
For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Are you not believing God for something?


3.     Thomas the Shouter.

v. 27-28       Notice he doesn’t say, wow, Jesus, it’s you.  He doesn’t call Him by His name, but by His title!

Jesus takes Thomas up on his offer.  He condescended to meet Thomas in his point of weakness.  He gave him the proof he desired.


Ask an atheist:  Are you a moral atheist or an intellectual atheist?

A moral atheist doesn't want there to be a God to submit to.

An intellectual atheist has questions that need to be answered.  They aren't trying to kill God, they simply desire evidence and don't feel they have any.

    Let's assume they say they are an intellectual atheist...sincere.  Ask them if they have all knowledge.  They don't.  Then how do they know He doesn't exist.  They will have to admit they aren't an atheist, but an agnostic.  They simply don't know.

    Are they a moral agnostic or an intellectual one?


Challenge them to pray every day for God to reveal Himself, and then read a page or two of the book of John.  I believe God will reveal Himself to them!


Jesus met Thomas at his point of weakness and revealed himself.


v. 28    Thomas became a shouter!  And he became a missionary to India.  And there are many believers there who trace their lineage back to Thomas.


You may have walked in a pouter or a doubter, but you can leave this place a shouter, with the joy of having your sins forgiven!

Grace Notes Sermon Ministry

Phone: 217.620.3800

Book is free with purchase of our Flash Drive, below

The Grace Notes Flash Drive

All 75+ series we offer

[reg. $50 ea.] for about $4

Over 2,000 files including sermon manuscripts, PowerPoints and handouts

4 GB drive even gives access to all our future series releases

Print | Sitemap
© Grace Notes Sermon Ministry