Summary: Jesus said we who did not see, hear or touch Him, are more blessed that those who did
Why we believe what we believe
In Hebrews 11 verse 6 it says:
‘without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to Him
must believe that He exists’.
The writer of John’s Gospel gave us the beautiful words in 3 verse 16:
‘For God so loved the world
that He gave His only-begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life’.
For over a thousand years
Christians who could not read the Bible for themselves,
and relied on priests and popes,
many of whom were corrupt,
were tricked into thinking salvation was only obtainable
for those who bought religious relics,
made religious pilgrimages,
and bought forgiveness certificates.
Then, around 1517, Martin Luther re-discovered the truth of the Gospel,
that sinners, that we, are justified by faith.
It was not Luther’s own teaching; it was 1500 years old!
St Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 2 verses 8-9:
that a sinner is justified by faith,
not by works, lest we boast,
or lest we worry that our good works are not good enough.
The key word in Christianity is ‘believe’.
Every verse in the Bible teaches us something,
and John 20 verse 29 is very important,
because here we see the humanity and the honesty of Thomas.
He was no one’s fool; he was not easily conned.
He was possibly a little cynical, and certainly very sceptical.
Someone told him that a dead man had come back to life,
and not unnaturally, he doubted.
He was maybe there when Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead,
and maybe witnessed Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter,
and was maybe also around
when Jesus restored the widow of Nain’s dead son to his mother;
but, he probably thought along the lines:
I saw Jesus perform those miracles,
but I saw him die on the cross,
and I helped to carry his body to Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb,
and I saw the men rolling that big,
heavy stone over the entrance of the tomb,
so that grave robbers and wild animals could not get in.
So, you can imagine his brain ticking over when the disciples tell him:
‘We have seen the Lord’;
how could this be? ? ?
Could the others have had a collective hallucination?
Could their imaginations have been taken over by wishful thinking?
For a week, Thomas may have felt sorry for those poor, deluded,
He may have prayed for them to come back to their senses,
back to sad reality.
Maybe he thanked God that he had not been fooled;
thanked God that his feet were firmly on the floor!
Then, a week later, even though the doors were firmly locked,
no possibility of trickery or doubt now,
Jesus appears to the disciples again,
and Thomas is an actual first hand eye witness to this incredible event;
and not only that, but Jesus knows about Thomas’ doubt,
and Thomas’ demand for incontrovertible proof.
Verse 28 seems very mild, considering;
‘Thomas said to Him: “My Lord and my God”.’
I don’t know about you, but if I had been Thomas,
I would be grovelling on the floor,