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5

Believing Is Seeing

Key References: John 20:24-31; The Desire of Ages, chap. 84, pp. 806-808; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 9, pp. 165-169; Our Beliefs, nos. 10, 9, 7

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“Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ ” (John 20:29).

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Our faith in Jesus is a witness to those around us.

Remember Cleopas and his friend who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus? Remember how excited they were to hear Him explain all the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah?

As Cleopas and his friend entered the room that night in Jerusalem, they were so excited! They had much to share! Not only had they seen and spoken with their risen Lord Jesus, but He had helped them understand the entire Old Testament during one visit!

The other disciples were excited to share that “the Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon [Peter]!” (Luke 24:34). As they shared their experiences with amazement, suddenly they saw another Person standing before them.

They recognized their Master’s voice as He said to them, “Peace to you.” He showed them His hands and side, the clear marks of His crucifixion. Then He asked for food.

The followers of Jesus watched Him eat; they listened to Him speak. Gradually their faith was restored and great joy took the place of doubting. With indescribable joy they welcomed their risen Savior. As Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples, He brought back to their memory all that He had made known to them before His death. They finally understood that all things that were written in the books by Moses, in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning the promised Messiah had to be fulfilled. What a wonderful Bible study that must have been! Learning how the prophecies about the Messiah found fulfillment in Jesus.

Yet one disciple was not in the room with the others when Jesus first met with them in the upper chamber. Thomas heard the reports of the others, and he received plenty of proof that Jesus had risen and met with his fellow disciples. As he heard the disciples share their experiences, he did not share their joy and excitement. He complained that Jesus had appeared to others, but not to him; Jesus had spoken to others, he murmured, but not to him. Thomas failed to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead, and, as a result, he missed out on the blessing of recognizing Jesus as the Redeemer and Savior whose mission was to save everyone who would accept His sacrifice and believe in Him.

As Thomas brooded over his feelings of self-pity, he allowed doubt to control his mind. He repeatedly said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my fi nger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). His attitude stood in stark contrast with the faith and joy exhibited by the rest of the disciples.

Then one evening, as Thomas met with the other disciples, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you,” then turned to Thomas. “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27).

Thomas, bowing, answered, “My Lord and my God!” (verse 28).

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (verse 29).

Would you like to be one of those who are blessed even though you have not seen?

As with Thomas, Jesus wants you and me to believe in Him. That means we need to keep our focus on Him. We need to rest our faith on His Word. His promises will strengthen our faith and remove our doubts. Jesus will fill us with hope and joy through the Holy Spirit! We are not to complain and murmur; we are not to feel sorry for ourselves when things seem to go wrong. We are to hang on to faith and hope that Jesus is with us at all times.

As we grow in faith and we anchor our hope in Jesus, we will want to tell others the good news about the resurrection of Jesus! In Him we find the promise of eternal life as it is written:

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). This is the greatest message of hope ever given. Therefore, we have the responsibility and great privilege to share this life-changing message with everyone we meet.