Unless I See…

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Ezra 3-5; John 20

24 Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”

26 After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”

28 Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”

30 Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. 31 But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name. (John 20:24-30, Common English Bible).

Dr. James W. Moore wrote a book some years ago titled  When You’re a Christian… The Whole World is From Missouri. I feel certain it is a good book. Though I haven’t read this one, every book I have read by Dr. Moore I have really enjoyed.

That book title was what went through my mind as I read today’s lesson from John, a story about a man, who had he lived 2000 or so years later, could easily have been a resident of the “Show-Me State.” Such was Thomas’ words to his fellow disciples, “Unless I see…”  That sounds like a paraphrased version of, “Show Me.”

Throughout history, Christians have been critical of Thomas for his doubting mind. He wants to see the risen Jesus before he will believe. Yes, Thomas doubted. Of that, there is no doubt (no pun intended). Of course, the other disciples believed. When Jesus appeared to the disciples in the Upper Room, he showed them his hands and his sides. It seems to me, they wanted to see the same proof demanded by Thomas.

There are people around us every day who say, “I will believe when you can prove.” For the disciples, including Thomas, their’s was a unique opportunity to see and believe.

As for you and me, it has to be a matter of faith. Jesus said, “…Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.” We cannot see Jesus. We can see some artist’s interpretations of Jesus’ appearance, but we can’t see Jesus. Some say, “I will believe when I can see God.” We can’t see God.

We can see the work of God. I have questioned how someone can look upon Crater Lake and not see the hand of God. I don’t understand how someone can look at the Fjords in Norway and not see God. How can a person look at a field of bluebonnets (OK, yes, I am a Texan) and think God cannot possibly exist. How can someone, who claims intelligence, possibly think all this just happened? Someone, something had to drive all we can see as well as what we can’t. Being happy with believing even what we cannot see is a matter of faith. That I can see by faith, not just by sight is a blessing to me.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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