Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
I cannot cast stones at Thomas, for I have had my seasons of doubt, too. How many of us would be willing to go and die with Jesus as Thomas said he would when they risked being stoned for returning to Bethany (John 11:8, 16)? How many of us would forsake everything and everyone, including our family, home, and job, to follow Jesus? I think Thomas is unfairly judged when he is frequently called “doubting Thomas,” but the Bible never calls him that, nor does Jesus. He gets that tag unfairly only because he doubted Jesus was resurrected after being killed on the cross. Instead of pointing fingers at Thomas, I must ask, “How am I like him?” I too have my doubts–in fact, many times–but I must remember what Jesus said to Thomas, that they are blessed who have not seen Him yet have believed (John 20:29).
The Assurance of Faith
Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 of the assurance of the things that our hope is in and a strong conviction or evidence of something we haven’t seen (Heb 11:1). We know that Jesus lived a sinless life, that He died on the cross and that He was raised from the dead (Rom 10:9-13) even though no one living today has ever seen the resurrected Christ. We don’t need to see everything to believe in it. We can’t see the center of the earth but we know it exists. You can’t see a black hole but we have evidence that it exists. Peter told the church that even if we don’t see Him, we believe in Him (1 Pet 1:8). We have the account of the eyewitnesses in the Scripture from the apostles. A judge can rule on a verdict based upon eyewitnesses without ever having witnessed it him or herself. That is the assurance we have of Jesus.
The Long List of Witnesses
Abraham had no idea exactly where he was going but obeyed God and took Him at His word (Heb. 11:8). By faith, Isaac and Jacob lived in tents, knowing that they were looking ahead to a city with foundations built by God but a city they had never seen (Heb. 11:9). Sarah conceived even when past the child-bearing age (Heb. 11:9), and many others died in faith not having seen or received the things that were promised, yet they believed God (Heb. 11:13). Jesus reminds Thomas that faith doesn’t always have to depend on evidence seen because those who believe without seeing are blessed beyond measure, without ever having seen the risen Lord (John 20:29). We believe in Him Whom we haven’t seen, but we believe nonetheless.
A Closing Prayer
Father, please forgive my times of doubting you. Much like Thomas, we know You do exist and Your Son, Whom I haven’t seen, died for me. I trust You and believe in You and Him, Whom I haven’t seen, and I thank You for Your Son dying for me. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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