Although Thomas is called the ‘twin’, he might be better named Thomas the ‘realist’. Unlike other disciples, Thomas is not about to believe in something as improbable as Jesus rising from the dead unless he has hard evidence. We might even call him Thomas the ‘sceptic’ who believes only in things he can see and touch. Yet, our ‘doubting Thomas’ has more to teach us than is commonly realised.
Soon after a refugee family moved into their new home, they became victims of racial abuse. One morning, as Fariza left the house to walk her two young children to school, they were confronted by a rowdy mob waving placards, shouting obscenities, and smearing the house and front fence with hate-filled graffiti.
Today’s gospel tells us of the temptations which Jesus experienced when, in preparation for his public ministry, he’d gone out to the desert wilderness for a time of prayer and fasting. The gospel leaves us in no doubt Jesus knew the reality of temptation. He knew too that we, his followers, would face temptation of various kinds.