Functional Order: Si-Te-Fi-Ne

Thomas gets accused and sometimes teased about how much like Matthew he is, because they are both so literal, focused on the details, and good with numbers. He was a successful caterer and had a thriving business because of his attentiveness to what they would need to make an event a success. It is somewhat difficult for him to leave all of that behind and travel with Jesus and his disciples, since he goes from being wealthy to poor, from having a constant roof over his head to sleeping on the ground. But he also has a great knowledge of Torah, and believes Jesus has come to fulfill the prophecies; he doesn’t understand why Jesus is healing Samaritans rather than preparing an army to take down Rome, because he is expecting Jesus to be the fulfillment of the prophecies as taught to him in scripture (an avenger, not a healer). He does not understand what doesn’t fit his expectations, and struggles to find any other way to look at their cause. Thomas is rational, exact, and easily competent at what he does. He thinks in terms of numbers, notations, sums, and pure logic, sometimes pointing out the obvious, and focusing on their practical needs (if we eat all of this now, where will we find more? How much money do we have? Is it enough to get us where we are going?). Thomas cares deeply about Ramah, but does not quite know how to show it to her. He can seem more controlling than supportive, in his need to be needed and wanted. He does not open up about his past easily, although he does identify more with Jesus when he learns both of them have lost their father, and he says, “I must ask him about that.” He does not show much Ne except in his willingness to change his life in the hope of something better, even if he does not fully understand it.

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The first time we see Thomas, he is fretting about the contents of his cart and saying that they should take more wine than they might need “just in case.” Ramah, being a 9, laughs at him and says it will all turn out fine, but when the wedding feast runs out of wine, Thomas has an “I told you so” moment. He is the most skeptical of Jesus’ ability to do anything about it, and even dares to say to his face, “I thought you were going to help.” (What do you mean, fill these with water? What use are you?) He prided himself on being a good employee and student, but also chafed against some of the rules he lived under as a Jew. He likes to keep things rational, but is also reactive—when Matthew points out one of his flaws, he points out one of Matthew’s in return to even the score a little, and his pride hates being compared to Matthew, whom he considers weird (and an ex-tax collector). When the disciples first ask him to weigh in one of his decisions, he says he won’t, because he’s “the new guy” and doesn’t want to cause trouble. He cares a lot about having a good work ethic, and on appearing to be successful, but is also anxious about losing Ramah. He doesn’t want her learning to read, or doing so with Matthew, because it would mean she might not need him to explain things to her anymore. Thomas likes to feel competent, and so he bears down hard on what “makes sense” as much as he can.

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