Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 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. John 20:19-25
We are often quick to criticize Thomas calling him “Doubting Thomas” because he said he would not believe until he saw the resurrected Lord with his own two eyes. However, we often overlook something in this passage. Notice in verse 19 it says the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews. Those in the room were there because they were afraid of the Jews. Why wasn’t Thomas there? Was he not afraid? Was he out doing what he should have been doing: preaching the gospel?