Thomas was nicknamed “Doubting Thomas” because of his apparent pessimist attitude. He was a negative person- the worrier, brooder, and very anxious. He anticipated the worst in every situation. Little is known about Thomas, however scripture does slightly contradict the nickname of him being such a doubter. When Jesus first explained to the disciples that he was going to die, found in John 10, Thomas could not bear the fact that Jesus was going to die and no longer be with them. He said, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him”. He has an heroic pessimism. He had no faith in Jesus but figured he would die too if Jesus was going to die. He had courage, just wrongly placed. “Pessimism, without faith, paired with courage is still pessimism.” However, Thomas was loyal to Jesus even if unto death. He was devoted to Jesus and loved him as deeply as John loved him. It was clear that his doubt was paired with deep love. He did not want to live in a world where Jesus was not present. It did show strength to all of the disciples.
Thomas’ worst fear came true when Jesus really did die and he was left without him. In John 20, all of the disciples got together to comfort each other after Jesus’ death, however Thomas was not present. After the resurrection, Jesus came to visit the disciples. Thomas was not there because he may have felt alone, betrayed, rejected, heartbroken, forsaken, and crushed. He was not in a mood to socialize. Thomas still doubted when the disciples told him they had seen Jesus from the dead. Remember, however, that all of the disciples doubted the resurrection UNTIL they saw Jesus. What set Thomas apart from the other disciples was not his doubt being greater but his sorrow. He was so deeply upset by Jesus’ death that when Jesus visited them again, this time Thomas was present, he couldn’t believe that his savior was back. His brokenness was why he doubted, not his pessimism. Jesus dealt gently with Thomas, understanding his pain and sympathized with his doubt and uncertainty. Later on, records showed that Thomas took the Gospel to India and was killed for his faith by being speared to death. It was a fitting death for him, knowing that he died for Christ- the very wound which Thomas asked to touch became the wound that was inflicted upon his own death. (Jesus was speared, and so was Thomas).