April 14, 2012

From Faith to Faith: John

John 20:1-10

Finally the other disciple … also went inside. He saw and believed.
—John 20:8


John had outrun Peter to the tomb. As he stopped at the entryway, Peter went past him into the tomb. When John finally did go inside, “he saw and believed.” Unlike Peter, who wasn’t sure what had happened, John was sure: he believed.

Both Peter and John had been among Jesus’ closest disciples. Both had heard the report of the women that first Easter morning (Luke 24:10). Both saw that the tomb was empty. And yet they had different reactions. Peter went away wondering what had happened (Luke 24:12), while John recalled what Jesus had said, and believed (18:31-33; 24:7-8).

Note, however, that the Bible says, “They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.” Both Peter and John had a long way to go in their faith. We quickly forget that just three years earlier they had been called to leave their fishing boats and follow Jesus (Luke 5). They had very little education and were ordinary, hardworking people like most of us.

Today I encourage you to take the first step of faith; believe that Jesus has truly risen from the dead and sealed your salvation. Know that his Spirit will deepen your faith as you seek him with all your heart. Then the day will come when you too will say, “Lord … you know that I love you” (John 21:17).

Thank you, Lord, for the leeway you give us as our faith develops. May we be equally gracious to one another as we struggle with questions while we follow you. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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