Monday – March 21, 2016
Day 41 – John 20:19-29
Focus: vss. 28-29
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Not that long ago I saw something going around Facebook that allowed people to chart out which states they had been to in America. I was interested because I’ve traveled around a bit. There are only a few states I haven’t been to and Hawaii is one of them. I’ve dreamt about Hawaii with its beautiful beaches and island culture. I’ve seen pictures of Hawaiian luaus and people picking pineapples. I’ve seen videos of hot lava flowing from the Hawaiian volcanoes. I’ve even met people who claim to have been to Hawaii or come from the islands but I have never been there myself. I hope to go there someday to prove to myself that such a beautiful place exists. The problem is that, in order to go there, I’d have to admit the possibility that it exists. I’m not sure I’m willing to make that bet. Those tickets are expensive! What if I get on a flight and the plane lands in Nova Scotia but everyone tells me it’s Hawaii? Not that I’m positive Nova Scotia exists either.
Our scripture passage for today tells a couple stories following the resurrection of Jesus. He appears twice to the disciples despite the doors being locked. One of the disciples, Thomas, misses the first appearance and refuses to believe in the Resurrection unless he sees Jesus for himself and can prove it. Of course, it happens and Thomas is made a believer.
You and I are in the position of Thomas before he sees Jesus with his own eyes. I can prove the existence of Hawaii and Nova Scotia simply by taking a faith flight to one or the other – proving the existence of Jesus, by those same standards, is a bit more difficult. If I wait until I see Him with my own eyes and touch him with my own hands, it will be too late for my belief to make any difference.
Maybe I’ll get to Hawaii someday but, until then, it seems silly to deny its existence because I’ve never been there. There is a lot of evidence for Hawaii and it won’t take long for me to find someone who has actually been there. If I find the witness credible, perhaps I could find it in my heart to believe it exists. Likewise, perhaps I could find a credible witness for Jesus.
Perhaps I could BE a credible witness for Jesus. I’ve met Him and our spirits have touched. Here in the Bible, and in other places, I have the eye-witness testimony of His life, death and resurrection handed down to me. I can choose to deny the existence of someone who lived 2,000 years ago simply because it’s too far removed me. I can also choose to believe that the world never existed until I was born and developed my first memories of it and, the older I get, I’m not so certain about those memories either. At some point I just have to choose to believe the evidence I’ve been presented with.
The historical evidence for Jesus has been written down and never disproven. But, let’s face it, that’s not enough for most people. What they really need is a credible witness for how Jesus has touched their life. You could be that credible witness for Jesus. Just tell your story – the one about what Jesus has done for you.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, I believe in You. I’ve never touched your hands or your side. I never walked with You in the flesh. Yet I’ve seen You in history. I’ve seen You in the lives of the faithful around me. And I’ve touched Your spirit with mine. Help me to be a witness for You. Amen.