Faith and belief is a process
“24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 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.”” John 20:24-29
What do you see? What do you see in the world? In your life, school, work…do you search for faith? You may have an encounter with Jesus where you hear about Him or read about Him. Maybe it’s at a funeral, wedding, or some other event where He is spoken of. You may have what you think is a revelation, a personal event from camp, a sermon, or story. Maybe you are intrigued or even know the right answers… but it fades or you don’t know where to go. Then something happens, be it a personal crisis or something joyful – and you turn back to what you remember from a previous encounter, and you draw closer to God. You begin to think there is more but you want something physical, a miracle perhaps? A touch, something concrete to see or hear Jesus. We want something tangible. But faith doesn’t always work that way. Jesus doesn’t always work that way.
In our passage we see that Thomas should have known! He walked with Jesus for three years, saw miracles, lives changed, people healed. He heard the predictions of his own death and resurrection. But he lost some of that hope the day Jesus died on the mountain. He seems to say in his doubts; “He can’t really have come back, can He?” Then doubting Thomas encounters Jesus and gets his tangible miracle. His doubts are removed with the physical evidence of Jesus’s appearance. When Jesus speaks to Thomas is it to tell of more miracles to come? Does he say, I will show myself to others just as I have shown myself to you? No, verse 29 states “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”. Jesus’s call on our life is to believe without seeing; to trust those encounters with Jesus. To realize, like Thomas, faith is a journey and it is never a straight path. Whether you have grown up in the church or you are just seeking Him for the first time; this path is full of twists, turns, moving forward, and tumbling backwards…all in the same day sometimes!
Trusting Christ is a process. We see this in Thomas’s steps toward knowing Christ. As we continue our journey, let us trust Him. When we rely on Him, He will be there and we will see Him. As we worship, read, pray and join in community, we will encounter Him more. This will lead us to becoming more like Thomas in knowing He is there. We will hear and feel Him. We will proclaim as Thomas did, “My Lord and my God!” Blessings on the journey.
Father God, as we are on this road, strengthen us. Move us and show us your Son more and more. Bring your Spirit and people into our lives so we can see your Son more and more. We trust in you as we are on this journey to help us through all the struggles, through all the good times, through all the falls and through all the joy. We trust in you to see and hear you in everything we do. Thank you for being patient with us as we seek to hear you more and more, until that day we see you face to face and we find our faith complete. Amen. Pastor Bill McKinley
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