by Joe Alain

Believing Is Seeing
Joe Alain
John 20:19, 24-29

''Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'' (Jn. 20:29b). We've either said it or we've been invited with the expression, ''You've got to see this to believe it!'' That's often said when someone witnesses something extraordinary or unusual, something that will be hard for others to accept unless they do see for themselves. Seeing is believing. Of course with today's technology and photo shop capabilities you can't always believe what you see. But in the realm of faith, ''Believing Is Seeing.'' Spiritual sight follows belief, vision follows trust, insight follows faith.

On the first Easter evening Jesus appeared miraculously to his followers in the upper room (a common meeting place for the first followers of Jesus). I say miraculous because Jesus just days earlier had been crucified and buried! And now some of his followers are meeting behind locked doors huddled together ''for fear of the Jews.'' They knew Jesus had died, they didn't know he was alive! And even if they did, they still might have been fearful that the Jews would be coming for them next. There was genuine fear among them that a purge of Jesus' followers might take place.

It's in this atmosphere of fear and anxiety that ''Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!''' God's peace broke through the atmosphere of fear. Jesus then gave them proof that it was him by showing them his hands and his side. It was then that ''The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord'' (v.20).

The disciple Thomas apparently didn't get the memo and was absent on that first evening (v.24). When the other disciples told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, Thomas doubted their story and spoke one of history's most famous ''foot-in-mouth'' statements, ''Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my hand into his side, I will not believe'' (v.25). Thomas laid down the gauntlet of belief, ''I have to see in order t ...

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