Summary: This message discusses believing without seeing.
Scripture Reading: John 20:19-31
Text: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Would you agree that it is rather easy to believe an event happened if you actually observed it through your very own eyes? For example, if someone told you it was snowing outside and you could look out and see the snow, you would believe that person.
If someone was describing the terrible destruction created by the hurricane, you might believe them, but you would believe the event really took place if you could see the aftermath with your own eyes.
We have all read or heard the Bible story of the “Great Flood,” but do we believe it really happened? We know the story about David and Goliath, do we believe it?
Scripture tells us that God created Adam and Eve from the dust of the earth and breathe the breath of life into their nostrils. We weren’t there, so do we believe it to be true?
Jesus was born in a smelly stable in Bethlehem, wrapped in cloths, and placed in a feeding trough. Do you really believe this? As a child you might, but what about believing it as an adult? You weren’t present when the birth took place.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). These are words written in red and furthermore they were spoken by none other than Jesus Himself. You didn’t see Him and hear Him when He spoke these words, so, do you accept these words?
God gave His Son with no strings attached. He gave with His unconditional love. He gave for the purpose of pulling man away from Satan and giving man an opportunity to form a right relationship with Him and spending eternity with Him in His kingdom. Jesus gave His life for our salvation. There is nothing here that you can actually see. Do you believe this is true?
I am trying to get you to see that believing comes easier to us if we can actually observe the event or view it with our own eyes. Keep in mind that there are some pretty good magicians in the world who can cause you to see something that did not really happen.
We have probably all watched as the magician sawed a woman or man in half. I once saw a magician make a trolley car vanish. Remember seeing the rabbit that is pulled out of the hat or the milk that is poured into a container that never even gets wet. These of course are all tricks or illusions. The point is we can’t or should not really believe everything we see.
Luke writes “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. The found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:1-3).
They saw with their very own eyes that Jesus’ body was not where Joseph had laid it. The body was not to be found. The tomb was empty. They had no problem believing because they observed the empty tomb and the burial cloths. Had we been present, we would have had no problem believing and would probably have thought someone had stolen the body.
Did the women realize they were in the presence of two angels? I don’t think so, because the angels appeared as men in clothes that gleamed like lightning. At first, there was probably questions in their mind, but when the women were reminded that Jesus said, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again” (Luke 24:7), they believed and went to tell the disciples.
After the women delivered the news to the disciples, the disciples did not believe because they did not see what the women had seen. In their mind, this was not possible. This was total nonsense. This could not happen.
Peter went to the tomb to see with his very own eyes and found that what the women said was indeed true. You and I would probably have followed in Peter’s footsteps. We would have to see in order to believe.
Our Scripture reading talks about the event that took place the first day of the week. This was the evening of Resurrection Sunday. The disciples were gathered together in a room somewhere in Jerusalem. Scripture tells us the door to the room was locked because they feared the Jews.
The Resurrection was causing some unrest among many people in the city of Jerusalem. In fact there was a plan in the making by the priests and the elders. The plot was to find a way to cover up the Resurrection.