E100: 069 | I Have Not Seen and Yet Have Believed

Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd President of the United States
"Today, in John chapter 20 verse 1 to chapter 21 verse 25 we learn that Mary Magdalene, John and Peter were the first to discover that Jesus had conquered death by rising from the dead. Shortly afterwards, the Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene and announced that he was to ascend to the Father. Jesus continued to prove his resurrection by performing many signs and wonders. Because Jesus rose from the dead, death is not an end but promotion to a resurrected eternal life." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read John 20:1-21:25 | (ESV)

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus' encounter with Thomas has always interested me. I could relate to him as a skeptic, as someone who likes to understand things for myself. I like examination and evidence. I like physical evidence over circumstantial evidence, and photographs over drawings or paintings. I like to investigate, prove and disproved things to myself. Ultimately I have had to face the fact that I could not do the same thing Thomas was given the opportunity to do: to know Jesus face to face here on this planet. To see him alive after witnessing his death. Seeing his wounds up close and even touching them. Our world is limited by linear time and space. Jesus was born into our world. As a result of the limitation of time and space he could only physically interact with those who lived during that specific time period. Jesus acknowledges this fact when he tells Thomas
"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
I continue to remind myself that I have easily moved past the need to examine physical evidence to understand history and ultimately believe based on others written accounts that, for example, Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States of America. Not only Jefferson but all of the early presidents and not just American history but many public figures and leaders around the world before modern photography and video existed. I am reminded that in so many areas of my intellectual thought I am willing to forgo physical evidence and direct experience in order to believe. Even in very analytical areas like science & math.

There is a book titled The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. It was written by Lee Strobel who was a former legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. To give you a little background on the book and Lee Strobel here is what the publisher put on the back or the book.

"A Seasoned Journalist Chases Down the Biggest Story in History The Project: Determine if there’s credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God. The Reporter: Lee Strobel, educated at Yale Law School, award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune—with a background of atheism. The Experts: A dozen scholars, with doctorates from Cambridge, Princeton, Brandeis, and other top-flight institutions, who are recognized authorities on Jesus. The Story: Retracing his own spiritual journey, Strobel cross-examines the experts with tough, point-blank questions: How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence exist for Jesus outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual historical event? . . ."

Here is a 6 minute video of Lee Strobel reviewing "the best attested event of the ancient world." He briefly presents some of the evidence of the Resurrection he wrote about in his book. A reasoned person with an open mind can examine the testimonies and evidence of Jesus and conclude that the Resurrection took place.

I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.

Please share your own thoughts on this passage in the comment section below or on the Facebook page.

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