16 Then Thomas, the one called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples: “Let us also go that we might die with Him.”
Didymus is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word ‘Thomas’, therefore, both have the same meaning, which is ‘twin’.
Thomas is the disciple that generally has a ‘bad press’, because he is mostly remembered as the disciple who doubted that Jesus had been raised from death. After Jesus had been raised from death He appeared to the disciples, but Thomas was not with them on that occasion. When the others excitedly told Thomas that Jesus had come to them, Thomas said that he would not believe until he was able to place his fingers into the nail hole of His hands, and his hand into the wound in His side, caused by the Roman spear.
However, Thomas showed himself to be a brave man, because he knew that in going with Jesus to Bethany could mean dying with Jesus.
He knew that to stay where they were meant relative safety. Therefore, his urging of his fellow disciples to accompany Jesus was courageous.
Following Jesus is exciting, but it also means abandoning a life of safety. Often Jesus will call believers to ‘push the boat out’ into stormy seas, abandoning the safety of the harbour. Jesus said: “If any one desires to follow Me he must deny himself and he must take up his cross, and he must follow Me” – Mark 8.34.
It would seem that Thomas realized that the time had come for him and the other disciples to do just what Jesus had said all believers must do: deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.
For many this has meant laying down their life for Jesus, and today this is still true for many followers of Jesus.
It is a fact that following Jesus does mean dying to our self, putting His will first, and abandoning thoughts of living a safe life.
We are able to do this because Jesus fills us with the power of the Holy Spirit.