Updated: Apr 9, 2021
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God. For as long as I can remember, I have believed that Jesus is the Christ. Growing up in the church, that was always a part of my life. As I’ve grown older, my faith has deepened and my understanding has matured. And I’ve come to have a greater appreciation for the faith instilled in me those many years ago. But our faith cannot remain static – it must constantly grow and mature.
When Jesus was crucified, his apostles’ world was shaken. They fled. They hid. And when they heard the women’s report that Jesus had been raised, they doubted. For this doubt Jesus rebuked them, but he also sought to reassure them. One of those times of reassurance came as they hid behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. Appearing among them, Jesus said, “Peace be with you.” When they saw his wounded hands and feet, they knew it was the Lord. Fear turned to gladness.
But one of the apostles was missing that night – Thomas was absent. When they told him of their encounter with Jesus, he was skeptical. In fact, he declared that he would not believe unless he saw and touched his wounds. A week went by. The apostles were together again. And this time Thomas was with them.
The very thing that Thomas required, Jesus provided. “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side.” But Jesus added a request - “Do not disbelieve, but believe.” The world says, “seeing is believing,” and Thomas saw, and believed. And yet, the words of Jesus come ringing through the centuries, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). To this Peter added, “. . . Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
We did not see what the apostles saw. We did not walk with him. We didn’t hear his penetrating teachings or see his powerful miracles. But through their record we can do what they did - we can believe. It is not necessary to actually touch his wounds. Instead, we can allow their authentic message to touch us and produce that faith reflected in Thomas’ words, “My Lord and my God!”