April 23, 2014

Believing and Not Seeing

John 20:24-29

“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
—John 20:29


After a traumatic encounter with a storm when she was six, my daughter developed an intense fear of wind. She was convinced that when the wind blew hard, one of the trees around our home would come smashing through our roof. Wisely, a trusted friend reassured her that what she couldn’t see was an enormous root system that secured each tree in place. Eventually she was persuaded and believed.

Following the traumatic events of Jesus’ death and resurrection, Jesus’ disciples were dizzied by shifting emotions. How could it be that Jesus went from being dead to alive, from lying motionless in a tomb to walking and talking? Thomas said he wouldn’t believe until he saw Jesus with his own eyes and touched him with his own hands. Thomas thought that seeing was the only way to believing.

But Jesus gently addressed Thomas’s assumption. After inviting Thomas to see and touch his wounds, Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus declares that all who believe and haven’t seen are truly blessed. That includes you and me! Believing is about trusting God’s sovereign love revealed through Jesus by God’s Word and Spirit. God plants the seed of faith in us and helps us believe, even when we cannot see. Blessed are we!

Lord, help us to see how blessed we are to believe. Grow our faith, that we may share it with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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