Believing without Seeing
Key Verse: “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
THE APOSTLE THOMAS lacked faith to believe that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. When our Lord had presented himself, within closed doors, to the other disciples they were glad to know that he had risen from the grave, and was with them once again.
When Thomas learned what had happened he said he would not believe that Jesus had risen unless he could see in his Lord’s hand the evidence of the nails that had pierced them, and to thrust his own hand into the wound in his Master’s side.
Eight days later, Jesus again materialized in human form before his apostles when Thomas was present. As a spirit being Jesus did not have to enter the room by way of the door, but suddenly appeared before them wearing appropriate clothing for the occasion.
As on the previous meeting, Jesus said, “Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, … Reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”—John 20:26-28
Although Thomas had recognized Jesus by the wounds in his hands and side, it took a physical demonstration to convince him of what the other disciples had already seen. In Jesus’ answer to him it is apparent that faith was the lesson that was being stressed. Thomas also failed to believe his brethren. There is a grand blessing associated with faith and trust, and Jesus wanted Thomas to understand that. It would be well for all Christians to heed the Lord’s admonition and instruction concerning the importance of faith and trust.
During the time that Jesus remained on earth before his ascension to the Heavenly Father, he appeared on different occasions for short intervals of time, and in various human forms and dress. He materialized in whatever form best suited his interests for the time. At no time, however, did he reveal himself in his spiritual body for, if he had done so, his disciples would have been unable to look upon his glorious being. Paul addressed the matter of faith in his epistle to the Hebrew brethren. He told them, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) Paul stressed the importance of faith as the basis for the Christian’s hope. “Without faith it is impossible to please him [God].”—vs. 6
Also the necessary conviction concerning those things that are not readily apparent to our natural senses or understanding is very important. He further emphasized (vs. 6) that without faith it is impossible to please God. The footstep followers of Christ are a faith class, and during the present age they are spoken of as the “household of faith.” (Gal. 6:10) They are those who believe without seeing because they walk “by faith, not by sight.” (II Cor. 5:7) To please God we must study the Scriptures for spiritual strength. We are admonished to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called.” (I Tim. 6:12) If faithful we will receive a crown of life.—Rev. 2:10