It is natural to put our faith in what we see. We put our faith in our job. Our money. Our family. Our friends. Our house. Our possessions. Our transport. Ourselves. We tend to put our faith in everything else but God. It is foolishness to those that do not believe in God to put their trust, hope and faith in something that is unseen or not tangible. Thomas was a disciple of Jesus who did not believe that He had risen from the dead. He had not been with the other disciples when they saw Jesus after He had risen. When the other disciples told Thomas that they had seen Jesus and that Jesus was alive, Thomas said this:
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)
Wow. Now doesn’t that sound familiar? We are living in a society that wants tangible proof or it will not believe. Innocent until proven guilty. Science has proven this theory, thus it can be trusted. I speak from personal experience as a follower of Christ, that there are times when I just want God to prove to me that I will get a job or that He will show me the next step of my journey. I am like ‘Doubting Thomas’; I feel like I have missed out and I need proof and full assurance. What did Jesus say to Thomas? Did he scold Him? Did He punish Him? Did He ignore Him?
“A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus has a way of making an entrance. Doors were locked but Jesus stood among the disciples! He then says ‘Peace be with you!’ That is a wonderful greeting and next time you greet me, please can you say that? I need to remember that I do have Christ’s peace in me :-D!
Jesus gets right to the point and surpasses what Thomas wanted; Thomas does not just see the marks of Christ’s crucifixion, but he touches them. It becomes tangible and real to Thomas. Jesus tells him to stop doubting and to believe! Thomas immediately acknowledged who Jesus was in that moment.
In the same way that Jesus surpassed what Thomas wanted by letting him feel His scars, God also will surpass our expectations and desires, albeit in ways we may not expect. We often think we know what we want, but truthfully, we have not got a clue. We would love to be spared from all of life’s frustrations, difficulties, hurt and pain. However, Christ’s scars are a tangible reminder of the proof of who and what we need. Christ suffered for us on the cross to take away the sin of the world. That is the evidence. The hard truth. Was it easy? No. It was excruciatingly painful. Why did He not save Himself if He was all powerful? Because He thought you were worth saving so much that He willingly went to die for you. Nothing else would have spared you of the separation from God except God Himself.
Jesus is the core truth of how His pain and suffering brought us back to God. In our times of distress and discouragement, we should remember the price that Jesus paid on the cross. It was so we could be reconciled to the Lord. When we go through challenging and life-changing circumstances, we are given an opportunity to place our faith in Jesus and know that we are blessed. Although we have not seen all of the details of what is to come, we still trust Him. Blessed are those that who have not seen and yet have believed! That is faith!
Reading the bible is one of the most honest and truthful accounts you can read. It is full to the brim of human experience, emotion and faith battles. Pain, struggle, doubt, fear, anxiety, despair, illness and death saturate the pages. It is the very core of humanity. However, what makes the bible so beautiful and amazing, is that it is bursting with God’s character on every page. His love. His patience. His steadfastness. His sovereignty. His truth. His grace. His peace. His understanding. His humanity. His divinity. His power. His kindness. His purposes. His joy. His justness. For every valley in life that reveals the state of our heart and our faith (or lack of faith) towards God, there is a mountain of hope and a flood of grace that is readily available for us all in Jesus Christ.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)