Reading: John 20:24-29
Verse 29: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Act 2 unfolds today. We learn that Thomas was absent from the risen one’s first visit. It seems odd that Jesus would first visit when one disciple was missing but the reason why becomes clear as we read on. Thomas refuses to believe. He insists on his own physical proof. How many times have you said or thought “I’ll believe that when I see it with my own eyes”?
Usually when I’ve said that, the person’s response has been something along the “Well then, I’ll show you!” lines. It is not said with grace or humility or compassion. Contrast this human norm with how Jesus speaks to Thomas. In act 2 Jesus once again appears and greets them. Then, turning to Thomas alone, Jesus offers what he needs: “Put your finger here…” I picture a kindness in Jesus’ eyes and I sense a mercy and compassion in his voice. I think this is because it’s what I’ve felt when Jesus has met me where I was at and has given me what I needed. Thomas immediately professes faith in “my Lord and my God.”
And then to Thomas, but certainly loud enough for all to hear, Jesus says, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” All there have now seen him. By seeing the risen Lord they have come to believe. Yet when Mary Magdalene came from the tomb with her good news… They all had doubt. They all needed more. So not only with Thomas but with all the disciples, he gave them what they needed to really believe. Jesus met them where they were at and helped them to step forward in faith. In Spirit, Christ continues to do this.
You and I fall into this “Blessed are…” statement. We have come to believe without physically seeing Jesus. How? Through the words of scripture, through the witness of others, and through our own experiences with Christ, we have come to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This day may our lives lay the groundwork for the Spirit to move the heart of another, drawing them towards faith in Jesus Christ. In whatever way we can, may we be part of other’s “how.”
Prayer: Lord God, use me today as you will. In and through me may others come to see and know Jesus in their hearts. Lead and guide me to help others toward the Lord and Savior of us all. Amen.