Seeing is Believing

Poor Thomas.  After being with Jesus and the rest of His disciples from the beginning, he misses this!!  After following Jesus for 3 solid years of his life, being there for miracles, being there for the confrontations with Pharisees and other religious leaders, and ultimately being there when Jesus was betrayed, captured, tried, and executed, he misses the resurrected Christ showing Himself to the disciples!  Where was he??   We have no idea.  Maybe he was hungry.  Maybe he went to see his family and let them know that he was ok.  Regardless, after seeing so much with Jesus, this is what he missed – “Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”  Seriously, he left for probably a short time, comes back, and all his friends are telling him Jesus just showed up!  The same Jesus he had seen be beaten nearly to death, then nailed to a cross to finish the job.  The same Jesus that Joseph of Arimathea had taken down from the cross and put in his own grave.  Yes, his body is gone, and Jesus had told them He would be returning to them, but for Thomas, this was his point of disbelief.  But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”   There is no way he’s believing that the risen Christ had just been standing there with his friends.  Look at his strong declaration here – unless I see all these things…I will NEVER believe.  His mind was made up.  He had hit his own point of disbelief.  Even though it was widely accepted by the Jews that there was to be a resurrection, he simply could not believe a dead man was up and walking around.  Do you have a point where you say “I just can’t believe that.”  What is it?  What are you waiting on in order to believe?

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.  Here, despite his unbelief, we see something Thomas gets very right.  It is eight days after he declares his own unbelief, but where is he?  He’s still right there with his friends, the rest of Jesus’ disciples.  When we go through our periods of questioning and doubt, it is important to stay plugged in to other believers to get us through, to continue to walk with us.  I had a conversation over the weekend, and it came up – “Why does it have to be 2 or more gathered for God to be there?  I think he’s there with me wherever I am.” Which is true enough, but what we sometimes don’t understand is that God almost always works through people.  He works through other people to get us through challenges, he wants to work through us to help even more people.  When it came time to reveal his ultimate plan of salvation, God even came down to earth to work through the man, Jesus of Nazareth, right?  He didn’t just send down a lightning bolt to burn up those who weren’t working with Him.  He came to us as a man, to work through Him, to choose his disciples and apostles, work in His own earthly ministry, and ultimately die on the cross to fulfill all the law and prophecy which came before.  And through those disciples and apostles, His word and story are still told, person by person.   
Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”   Thomas, here is your proof!  Now…believe!!  

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  So…Thomas does not actually check the hands and side.  But, seeing is believing, right?  Again, what are your doubts?  What is it you are waiting to to see?  Today, we are on a scientific quest.  We make new “discoveries” all the time.  Our technology is moving generations in matters of months.  But…we are simply not as smart as we think we are.  Johann Kepler, the famous astronomer and scientist, said “science is simply thinking Gods thoughts after him.”  We are discovering NOTHING God did not put here.  We are figuring out NOTHING He does not know.  As we make more and more discoveries, trying to prove He does not exist, but instead being pointed back to the fact that He HAS to exist, we need to grasp what Jesus says here – Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

“Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””
‭‭John‬ ‭20:24-29‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/jhn.20.24-29.esv

 

John Lewis

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s