Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
Is there any mystery here? Did St. John intend us to see any coming out in the name bearer of the qualities which the name expressed? Many have thought he did, and the analogy of similar notices in this gospel (John 1:42; John 9:7) would lead to this conclusion. It is very possible that Thomas may have received this as a new name from his Lord, even as Simon and the sons of Zebedee, certainly, and Levi very probably, received in like manner names from Him. It was a name which told him all he had to fear, and all he had to hope. In him the twins, unbelief and faith, were contending for the mastery, as Esau and Jacob, the old man and the new, wrestled once in Rebecca's womb. He was, as indeed all are by nature, the double, or twin-minded man. It was for him to see that in and through the regeneration he obtained strength to keep the better and cast away the worse half of his being. He here utters words which belong to one of the great conflicts of his life — words in which the old and the new, unbelief and faith, are both speaking, partly one and partly the other; and St. John fitly bids us note that in this there was the out. coming of all which his name embodied so well. There was faith, since he counted it better to die with his Lord than to live forsaking Him — unbelief, since he conceived it possible that so long as his Lord had a work to accomplish, He, or any under His shield, could be overtaken by death. Thomas was evidently of a melancholy, desponding character: most true to his Master, yet ever inclined to look at things on their darkest side, finding it most hard to raise himself to the loftier elevations of faith — to believe other and more than he saw, or to anticipate more favourable issues than those which the merely human probabilities of an event portended. Men of all temperaments and characters were to be found in that circle of disciples, that so there might be the representatives and helpers of all who hereafter, through struggles of one kind or another, should at last attain to the full assurance of faith. Very beautifully says of this disciple, that he who would hardly venture to go with Jesus as far as the neighbouring Bethany, afterwards without Him travelled to the furthest India, daring all the perils of remote and hostile nations.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.