Faith or Sight – Trusting Christ Because of His Word, Not Experience

In John 20 verse 25 Thomas said that he would not believe Jesus had risen from the dead and was alive unless he was able to put his fingers in the nail prints of Jesus’ hands and side. When Jesus reappeared eight days later he walked in and Thomas saw him with his own eyes. Without the need for putting his fingers in the wounds of Jesus he declared that Jesus was alive and was God.

The disciples were with Jesus for more than three years but they seemed to not completely understand that Jesus was God. They saw His miracles and heard His teaching, but their words and actions spoke to the fact that they did not completely understand who Christ was. Here Thomas proclaimed, “my Lord and my God.” He finally recognized Jesus for who he was—the God of the universe.

Jesus was willing to allow Thomas to follow through with his proclamation for not believing unless he touched Jesus (even though Jesus would not allow Mary to touch Him in verse 17). Thomas was satisfied. Jesus acknowledged that Thomas wanted to see, hear and touch Him. After that though, Jesus turned the emphasis from experiencing the presence of Christ to believing through faith.

Jesus then said to Thomas, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” I believe Christ was speaking for our benefit. We have not been able to physically experience Jesus, but through faith in His Word we can know Him.

We are told in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This was after an explanation that there is a need for people to proclaim the God’s Word. We can know God and Jesus Christ through the Bible. We don’t need the experiences. In fact, Jesus proclaimed a blessing on those who believe in Him through faith and not through sight.

To know Jesus Christ we need to read and study the Bible personally. It is great to be part of a church and to have a pastor and Sunday School teachers who will guide you, but personal Bible study is where your faith will increase.

It’s About the Resurrection

Tonight I was talking with a Catholic friend who is very curious about my “religion.” She wanted to know what we do for Semana Santa (Holy Week) to celebrate Easter. At her church they have a special celebration on Palm Sunday and then throughout the week they have various displays and dioramas depicting the final week of Jesus.

I told her that we usually don’t celebrate the Passion Week with as much pageantry as the Catholic church does. Resurrection Sunday is where we place all the emphasis. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead and lives today is the focal point of all we celebrate in Christianity.

She is coming to our church’s Easter play tomorrow night in which we emphasize a Savior who came to the world for the sole purpose of dying on a cross in the place of sinners. Though Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us, He rose again to assure us of an eternal life in the presence of God the Father.

For us, it’s all about the resurrection.

Happy Easter!