John 11:1-45 tells of the event of the sickness, death, and resurrection of Lazarus, a friend of the Lord and His disciples. It is a wonderful lesson of the wisdom, compassion, and power of the Lord Jesus. While we will not consider the entire episode in our answer here, I strongly encourage you to read this chapter. We learn in the first six verses of Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. When Lazarus became sick, a message was sent to the Lord. We read in verses 3-4, “Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” In His words, the Lord points out that the ultimate end of this event is not Lazarus’ death, but the glory of God and His Son, Jesus. We read in verse 6 that after receiving the news of Lazarus’ sickness, the Lord Jesus waited two days before reacting. When the Lord does not answer our prayers immediately there is a reason, and there was a reason the Lord waited when hearing of Lazarus’ sickness.

In verses 7-10, we see that the Lord had determined that it was finally time to go see Lazarus. The disciples warned the Lord that His life would be in danger if He travelled to Bethany for there had been recent attempts on His life. (Read John 10:22-39 to read about two of the latest occasions that the Jews sought to kill the Lord.) Although their knowledge of the Lord’s power and love was still limited at this point, it is obvious that the Lord’s disciples loved Him and were concerned about His safety.

In verses 11-15, the Lord manifests His omniscience by telling His disciples that Lazarus was now dead. They were confused by the Lord’s words, telling them that Lazarus was asleep, but in verse 14, the Lord says plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” The Lord Jesus went on to say in John 11:15, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.” The Lord expressed that He had waited, and allowed Lazarus to die, so that it would impact their faith in Him, thereby glorifying Him and His Father.

The writer’s question has to do with verse 16, so let’s read John 11:16, “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Thomas was one of the Lord’s twelve apostles, but we know relatively little about him. He is often unfairly referred to as Doubting Thomas because of his reluctance to believe that Christ had risen from the dead after His crucifixion. When the Lord Jesus appeared to His apostles on the day of His resurrection, Thomas was not among them. We read in John 20:25, “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” I find it hard to be too critical of Thomas at this stage, for in the very presence of the resurrected Christ, the other apostles also found it hard to believe that He had risen from the dead. Luke 24:40-41 tells us, “And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while THEY YET BELIEVED NOT for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?” Indeed, after later showing Thomas His hands and feet, Thomas made that wonderful confession to the Lord Jesus in John 20:28, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, MY LORD AND MY GOD.”

There is one thing that we do not have to doubt about Thomas, and that was his great love for the Lord. In John 11, when the Lord said they would go see Lazarus, Thomas (realizing the Lord’s life would be in imminent danger) said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” He was willing to walk wherever the Lord walked. He was willing to die with the Lord if that happened. He was willing to die the death of a martyr if that is what the Lord wanted him to do. Indeed, tradition tells us that Thomas was martyred in India in 72 A.D. Thomas was also called ‘Didymus’. The definition of that word is ‘a twin.’ May we all strive to be identified as Thomas’ twin by being faithful to the Lord, by loving Him above all things (even our very lives), and by walking with Him wherever He leads us. May our hearts constantly cry out to the Lord, “MY LORD AND MY GOD.” (292.8)