Easter 2 :: Seeing is believing?

Poor Thomas! He gets such a bad rap.

So he didn’t believe that Jesus had really appeared to the disciples on Easter night. Would you have believed it had you not been there? Wait a minute. You weren’t there, were you? Well, neither was I. I sometimes wonder, if I had been a disciple back then but, like Thomas, was not present that night, would I have been disbelieving of the testimony of the others? [I use the word disbelieving because that is closer to the Greek than our usual translation of doubting.] It’s difficult to speculate on such things, but it seems that I am very much like Thomas. I would have been incredulous at what the disciples told me. I mean, after all, no one has ever been raised from the dead before, right? Well, no one save for Lazarus, and the widow of Nain’s son, and a few others, but perhaps I’d have been suspicious of these as well!

We call Thomas, the Doubter. But he didn’t doubt the testimony of the disciples. He just didn’t believe it. He had to see it with his own two eyes. He needed hard evidence that Jesus was raised from the dead. Can any of us blame him?

Well, he got his evidence. In spades! Seeing Jesus brought him to faith: he moved from disbelief to belief. And Jesus’ words to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe,” are not to scold him, but to challenge us. We have not seen with our own eyes. Do we believe?

This is the point—in a nutshell—of John’s Gospel: can we who were not around back then come to faith today, two millennia removed from the disciples’ first witness? And can we—will we—go and tell others that they, too, may believe?

Something to ponder:

Have you seen the Risen Christ with the eyes of faith?

Link to RCL lectionary for Easter 2

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