Seeing! “Seeing is believing,” says the old adage. Most of us find faith easier when we can see evidence. Yet faith, by its very definition, implies trust in the unseen. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be faith.
The disciples struggled to hold onto their faith after Jesus died on the cross. In today’s reading of John 20, you’ll notice variations of the word “see” sprinkled throughout the account. Peter and John raced to the tomb after Mary Magdalene claimed the Jesus’ tomb was empty. Both noticed the grave cloths folded…but no sign of Jesus anywhere! They “saw and believed” (John 20:8).
Jesus later makes an appearance to Mary Magdalene who sees and believes. He then appears though locked doors to the trembling disciples, speaking words of comfort and peace as they hid for fear of the Jews. They were “overjoyed” when they saw the Lord.
For whatever reason, Thomas missed the first showing and refused to believe unless he saw for himself “the nail marks in His hands…” Jesus later appears to “doubting Thomas,” challenging him to “stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27). Blessed are those “who have not seen and believed,” He added.
Yes, it’s a blessing to believe even when we can’t see. But take a look at John’s words of encouragement. The “beloved disciple” must have understood that in our humanity, we sometimes wrestle to believe. Especially when all we can “see” around us is chaos:
Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples…But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by beliving, you may have life in His name” (John 20:30,31).
The word for “signs” here is semeion and points to the miraculous. It can also be interpreted as the “finger prints of God.” Friend, does it encourage you to realize that Jesus is on your side? He wants to be “seen” by you. He wants you to believe. So be on the lookout today for some of God’s “finger prints.” You may be surprised when and where they appear. Don’t forget to thank Him and take time to soak in the blessing. Tomorrow we come to the end of our 21-Day Experiment. I hope you’ll carve out some time to reflect on what you’ve seen and what you believe about Jesus the Christ.