Not Seeing and Believing
John 20:29 (ESV) … “Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
We have all been there at some point in our life. That moment when someone is tells us something so unbelievable that we just cannot and will not believe them. Admit it, we’ve all responded in that tone of negativity to unbelievable news, you know the ... “no way” … “fat chance” … “never happened” kind of statements.
In our text, we find the response given by Jesus to those who doubted His resurrection. While Thomas gets most of our attention in John’s gospel as the doubting disciple, the truth is that none of them really believed the news of Jesus’ resurrection until they saw Him. Think about what these disciples had just witnessed. So horrible and so blood a death did Jesus died on the cross, that in their minds it was virtually impossible to believe that He could ever come back to life from that type of dying.
However, nothing so removed the doubt of Thomas and the other disciples like that of actually seeing Jesus alive! Both the disciples and Thomas moved quickly from skeptic to willing worshipers. Thomas along with the disciples saw and believed! They were happy and indeed blessed to discover the great truth of their Lord’s resurrection.
It is to that happiness that Jesus address them: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus was speaking of the happy millions who since that day have not had the opportunity of Thomas and the other disciples and yet have believed. More than 375 times in the Old Testament and 100 times in the New Testament, the Bible talks about blessing. Amazingly, this the only time that it is related to faith and especially faith in the resurrection of our Lord.
What convinced Thomas and the other disciples to really believe? No doubt, what finally got through to them was the presence of Christ. We must understand, that the same thing, His presence, removes our doubts and gives us a more profound faith in Christ. It always comes by way of His presence.
Jesus says, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” While, we today cannot see Christ, nor can we see Him perform the miracles or signs as John puts them, we can still know the presence of Jesus. We always come face to face with Jesus as we read the scripture and go to Him in prayer. The truth of Jesus is found in the record of His word, and that is all that we need. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17; 1 John 5:9–13).
As we read John’s record, we come face to face with Jesus Christ, how He lived, what He said, and what He did. All of the evidence points to the conclusion that Jesus is indeed God come in the flesh, the Savior of the world. When we believe Jesus says, “we are blessed!”