But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.…
I. HIS HISTORY.
1. Parentage. Unknown, though from the circumstance that he is always conjoined with Matthew (Matthew 10.; Mark 3.; Luke 5.), who was a son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14), and the two are always followed by James, also the son of Alpheus, it has been supposed that he was Matthew's twin brother.
2. Apostleship. Belonging originally to the circle of John's disciples, he appears, like Andrew, Simon, James, and John, to have gone early over to Christ. In the second year of Christ's ministry he was called to serve as an apostle.
(1) In Peraea (John 11:16).
(2) At the supper table (John 14:5).
(3) After the Resurrection (text).
4. Disappearance. After this he is only mentioned once (Acts 1:13). According to the Fathers, he preached in Parthia, and was buried in Edessa. A later tradition says he carried the gospel into India, where afterwards an old colony of Syrian Christians on the coast of Malabar, calling themselves "Thomas Christians," claimed him as their founder.
II. HIS CHARACTER. Of —
1. A melancholy disposition. Constitutionally and habitually looking on the dark side of things, Thomas preferred to walk on the shady side of the street (John 11:16).
2. A slow judgment. Thomas never travelled faster than his understanding or reason would permit, and these were never hasty in forming decisions (John 14:5).
3. A critical mind. Thomas liked to search things to the bottom, to see before he believed (ver. 25).
4. A courageous spirit. He was not afraid to encounter danger and death with and for His Master (John 11:16), although taken with a panic, like the rest, he forsook Christ and fled.
5. A true heart. His judgment once convinced, his heart never hesitated, as here.
(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.