Sunday, April 3, 2016
Is Seeing Really Believing?
I occasionally feel a twinge of jealousy toward those in the first century. They didn’t have the Internet, cars, germ theory, air conditioning, or indoor plumbing; so I quickly get over it. But while the jealousy lasts, I daydream about sitting down for a meal with Jesus. There are so many questions I’d want to ask him. In a similar vein, there have been times in my life when I would love to have been Thomas, to reach out my hand and touch Jesus, to make sure he was still there, that everything was still OK. They say seeing is believing, and if believing is what God wants us to do more of, why doesn’t he give us more to see?
When it comes to God, I’m not sure seeing really is believing. Jesus’ own disciples saw much. While obviously not doubting his physical existence, they did doubt his message, his choices, his identity—after witnessing countless miracles, hearing countless sermons, and receiving countless hours of private instruction from the King of Kings himself. Throngs of people saw much as well, but where were they at his trial? That being the case, what hope do we have of believing, two thousand years removed from the events in the Gospels?
We have no hope, apart from God’s grace, and that’s the point. Faith in God is a gift from God, not a product of sight or any of our other senses. This sometimes creates puzzling situations. Our sight may tell us a situation is hopeless, but our faith, like a lighthouse standing against the fury of a storm, calmly beams out a small band of light against the encroaching darkness. When you wish you were Thomas, don’t look with your eyes to see Jesus. Look with your heart to see faith’s light and be reminded that even now God is still on his throne.
Jay Petrella, pastor, MorningStar Moravian Church,