Are you a Twin? Notes for Next Week’s Talk on Thomas (Didymus – The Twin)

Lunch with the Dans – Thomas, Didymus, Twin Part 2

(1) Didymus is Greek for “Twin”

Facts:

*Twins are more common since the 1980’s, 1 in every 30 births

*Twins tend to be extremely connected to their “other”, can create language only they understand/short hand

*Twins can be very competetive

*Twins can be codependant on one another (may have to be separated slowly as they grow into adulthood)

*We have several sets of Twins in our youth group (and college age groups) *twins are common on the island

 

(2) The On/Off  Confusion/Trust Relationship of a Twin following Jesus:

Thomas, while stout in faith and courage with Jesus at one point (John 11):

 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

He also seems to experience some separation anxiety (John 14):

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

The fact that he was not with the other disciples when they saw Jesus may be explained by his intense greif over the loss of one who he was attached to (like a twin).

 

(3) Possible explanations for who was Thomas’ Twin 

*He lost his twin early on in life (either at birth or through death)

*A Gnostic Gospel (written long after the gospels) surprisingly attributes the twin to be Jesus himself (surprise!)

*In a literary sense, we may be the “Twin” of Thomas (facing our own doubts – doubting our doubts)

 

(4) Thomas Believes (John 20)

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

*Thomas was skeptical, he was hurting, he felt lost – but the instant he saw Jesus, he believed.  It does not even mention that he had to go and touch the wounds (like many paintings make it seem).  He simply believed.

 

Some Questions:

What happens when someone tells you that they don’t believe in Christianity?  Do you lose your faith?

For most of us, probably not.  There are likely reasons that we have faith, and there is likely within us an instinct to trust and believe.  Doubt is natural and part of being human – but “doubting our doubt” and crying out “My Lord and my God!” when it is true, we find ourselves in a right relationship with God.  We begin to experience fulfillment.  Our worries and fears melt away, and we are able to step into a world where the spirit of possibility becomes reality.

 

(5) Assurance:

*Our Beliefs affect everything we do and how we live life.  If Thomas didn’t believe in this moment, how would his life have been different?  Would have have traveled to Iran (and possibly India) to preach the Gospel?

Would he have died for his faith if he had not believed?

How do we act when we believe?

Read the Great Commission at the end of Matthew Chapter 28:

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Doubt was also present, and ask yourself: “If I were to ‘Go’ like Jesus says, and were to reach out to all nations, all peoples of the earth – what would that look like? How can we actually do it?  Will we actually Go? Now?

belief
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