Thomas Desponding
John 11:16
Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

I. HE IS AN EARNEST MAN. We might almost conclude this from the fact that he is one of the twelve. Some of them are ignorant, some quiet and simple, some strong and passionate, but all are earnest. Take all the verses that relate to Thomas, they bring before us very different mental states — deep depression, rejoicing, confidence; but they all pre-suppose a spiritual concernedness about himself, his duty, and his Lord. He is sometimes called "unbelieving Thomas," but he is better than worldly Demas, or a vacillating Peter. What hope can there be for a creature like man, intellectual, spiritual, responsible if he will not think. You can do nothing with a man who is not earnest — but you may do much with an earnest man, though a doubter.

II. THIS EARNESTNESS HAS A TINGE OF MELANCHOLY AND IS CONNECTED WITH A DESPONDING DISPOSITION. As a certain vein runs through a geological formation, so a certain disposition runs through a human mind. You cannot expel it. It must be recognized and dealt with. Here Thomas threw himself on to the dark conclusion that all was over, and that nothing now was left to them but to die. This shows how truly he and all had lived for the kingdom and the Master. They all desponded in a while when the death came. It is characteristic of Thomas that he took the alarm sooner than the rest. One in a company will first say, "It is getting colder." One in a family will be the first to see the death shadow, although it may turn out not to be that. So some among God's children are nearer despondency than the rest, more quick to see the world going wrong, more keen to private troubles.

III. WITH WHAT DETERMINATION AND NOBLENESS THOMAS RESOLVES TO DIE WITH CHRIST, SINCE IN HIS OPINION NO BETTER MAY BE. Here is a melancholy man who yet can make the grand resolve that when his dearest visions and hopes are quenched in darkness, though what he cannot but regard as a mistaken judgment of the Master, yet resolves to follow that Master wherever He may choose to go. That purpose was the salvation of Thomas, and not less than that in principle will be the salvation of us. Thomas did not die with the Master. They all forsook Him for a little while. We shall not live up to the height of our best resolutions. But if our purpose be wisely and resolutely formed, and in dependence on Divine help, then we shall not renounce it; and it will be —

IV. THE CONSOLATION AND THE CURE OF OUR DESPONDENCY. You cannot conceive of one abiding in it long whose life is ribbed by a great purpose reaching unto death — whose heart is moved and lifted by a great affection, as sun and moon lift the tide. With Him, come storm or calm! With Him, come life or death! Then the world will be brighter, and we shall go through it more bravely to our home in the world beyond.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

WEB: Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, "Let's go also, that we may die with him."

Top of Page
Top of Page