Then Jesus told him,”Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20: 29
Cole called early this morning to tell me about a design he had made. He said, “Nan, you have to see this! You won’t believe it!”
I replied, “I know you can build the best designs, Cole. I know it must be great! Do you want to send me a picture?”
But he said, “NO, Nan! You have to wait until you REALLY see it for yourself! You won’t believe it until you do!“
I do love that child’s enthusiasm and joy in the simplest of things! I love that he wants to show me what he can do! He wants me to experience it for myself!
Sometimes seeing is believing, isn’t it? We just have to see it, experience it, be a part of it before we can ever truly believe it and accept it! I think of the story of “Doubting Thomas”, one of Jesus’s faithful disciples. He was given this nickname after Jesus’ resurrection because he could not accept that Jesus had arisen and appeared before the other disciples. He tells the others that he can and will not believe until he sees Jesus standing before him with proof: “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” (John 20: 25)
As we continue to read in the Gospel of John, we see how a week after this conversation, Jesus appeared standing before His disciples, even though the doors had been locked in fear of the Jews coming to look for His body.
Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Jesus did not question Thomas’s loyalty or faith in Him. He gave Thomas the proof he needed. He was not offended or angered by his request. In fact, he knew what Thomas wanted and needed, and He responded with love and kindness. Thomas saw for himself, and he had no doubt. He fell before Him and proclaimed that Jesus was indeed Lord and God.
So many of us can identify with Thomas because we too probably have our doubts about this Savior during our weakest moments when we need Him most. We want Jesus to show us that He is who He says He is. We want proof that He loves us, cares about us, and will be with us during the difficult times.
Yet, He has shown Himself in glorious and powerful ways, we have His promises from Scripture, and in reality, no more proof should be needed. But often we want more.
Jesus knew it would be this way. He understood that sometimes our faith will falter, and we will doubt and question His presence and authority in our lives. As He was patient and understanding with Thomas and gave Him what He needed, He will do the same for us. Through His faithfulness to us, our faith in Him will grow. We will learn to trust and depend on Him more and more.
Others will continue to doubt. As much as God wants us to come to Him, He will never force Himself on those who choose not to see or believe in Him. He asks that we come to Him by faith alone. He wants us to believe in His power and goodness without physically seeing Him and to trust in His presence with us. If we seek Him and call out to Him, He will reveal Himself and give us the strength and assurance we need. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Dear Lord, help us to see you for the Savior you are. Increase our faith, take away our doubts and fears that you are not really present in our lives. May our hearts be filled with love for you and may we share that faith with others. Amen