Photo taken by the author; Bow River at Edworthy Park, Calgary
“In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question.”
– Richard Saul Wurman
On this topic, there is this guy in the Bible named, Thomas.
He is mentioned in all four of the lists of disciples in the Gospels (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16; John 20:26).
The number of times “Thomas” appears in the Bible is 11 (ESV and NIV).
He was well-known for asking questions.
Lots of them.
He was one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus.
He is often referred to as “doubting Thomas” or “Thomas, the doubter”, although these phrases do not appear anywhere in the Bible.
This man-made, inaccurate description has almost always been viewed in a negative way about this guy, like giving someone bad news.
But I think Thomas is onto something here with his questions.
There is something we can learn from him.
As The Daily Study Bible says, “Despite the label that has been put on him, Thomas was not lacking in courage or loyalty. When the other disciples tried to keep Jesus from going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead…because of the danger from those in the area who had just earlier tried to stone Him…Thomas said to them, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with Him.’” (1)
This here shows that Thomas was a courageous man who had the guts to stand up for his King and not shrivel back in fear of what other’s (his friends, peers and fellow disciples) would think of him.
He was even prepared to die with Jesus.
This clearly shows that he saw something the other’s did not.
Thomas is the kind of person who wants first-hand, eye-witness accounts, especially concerning the events around Jesus’ resurrection and who He says He is.
He is relentless in his questioning and is persistent to find out all that he can about this man, Jesus, whom he has spent three-and-a-half years of his life with.
In fact, he won’t stop until he is satisfied with the answers he’s been given in response to the questions he’s proposed.
Here is something else that is noteworthy about Thomas:
His “full name was Didymus Judas Thomas, [and] lived in Galilee when it was part of the ancient Roman Empire and became one of Jesus Christ’s disciples when Jesus called him to join his ministry work.” (2)
His name appears in the Canon of Scripture.
Not once, but eleven times!
This should tell you something about the man.
After all, how many people do you know that are penned in the very book God wrote?
Did you make the book? I rest my case.
Here’s a thought for my reader’s: What would you say is the most important question that has ever been asked of all-time?
Think about it for a few seconds, give it some thought.
What would it be? You can only pick one question.
It was Thomas, after all, who asked the most important question in the history of the world, in general, and the most important question in all of Scripture, in particular.
In John 14:5-6 (ESV), Thomas asked Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus replied by saying, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
From this one man’s bold question, it led to Jesus revealing keen insight about his divinity.
(1) “Thomas,” http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/thomas.htm.
(2) “Who Was Saint Thomas the Apostle?,” http://angels.about.com/od/MiraclesReligiousTexts/p/Who-Was-Saint-Thomas-The-Apostle.htm.