Day 33: Evidence of Things Not Seen
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.” … Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:24-25, 29
Jesus’ disciple Thomas is famous for being the one who said he would believe Jesus’ resurrection when he saw it with his own eyes. But Thomas wasn’t really unique in that respect. It seems that the other disciples didn’t really believe Mary Magdalene’s story of meeting with
Jesus either - they were still hiding out in a locked room until Jesus appeared to them there and proved He wasn't a ghost by eating something.
None of them really believed in the resurrection until they saw Jesus for themselves, so Jesus’ words to Thomas (“ Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”) are a rebuke to all of them. Even those who had seen the empty tomb and talked to angels didn't realize Jesus was alive until they saw Him.
Now that Jesus has ascended to heaven, we don't have the opportunity to see Jesus in person. We can be the ones “have not seen and yet have believed.” God doesn't expect us to believe with no evidence at all, though. Jesus offered proof to those who doubted, like eating with the disciples to show He had a real body or letting Thomas touch His wounds. We have the evidence reported in the Bible. Besides the proofs Jesus offered the disciples, Jesus also appeared to others before He returned to Heaven, including the men in Emmaus (Luke 24) and a gathering of 500 people (I Cor. 15:5-6). We also can look at the changed behavior of the disciples. They were fearful after Jesus’ death, but after His resurrection, they began boldly preaching, even to the Jews and Romans who had executed Him.
Jesus gave evidence to the disciples, and the disciples provided the evidence of their eyewitness testimony and changed lives to their followers and to the men who wrote the Bible. Now, one part of the blessing to us, those who believe without having seen, is that we have the opportunity to be evidence of Jesus’ life-changing power to others.
Questions for reflection and discussion
- What convinced you to believe in Jesus?
- Why was that thing important for you?
Dear God, thank You for giving me the faith to believe despite never seeing the risen Christ.
Help me be the evidence to others of Your life-changing power. In Jesus’ name, amen.