To Believe or Not to Believe?

Apr 10, 2009 06:25 AM EDT

Author: Darren Lim, Associative Pastor, East Bay Alliance Church, Oakland

26 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!” 27 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.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:26-31, NIV)

Can you imagine Thomas’ surprise when his friends told him the news that Jesus was alive? Impossible, was probably his first thought. He told these friends that he needed to see proof, the wounds from Jesus’ hand and side. Thomas would have to see it to believe it.

According to John, it was eight days later, Jesus graciously submits Himself to Thomas’ disbelief. Here the disciples were locked in the room, but this time Thomas was with them. Jesus came right through the walls and stood in the middle of the room, for one purpose and that was to address Thomas directly and offer him a chance to inspect the wounds in his hands and side. Immediately, Thomas made his confession, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)

No doubt there are many people like Thomas today. Unbelief and an unwillingness to respond to the Gospel are unfortunately natural in the human heart. Even as Jesus had told Peter that flesh and blood had not revealed to him that he was the Christ, but by His Father in heaven, so it must be in the preaching and teaching of the Gospel. God must work in the heart by His Holy Spirit that conviction may come.

For those of us who are believers, Jesus wants us to put our faith in Him, without feeling, seeing, or proving anything. It is still true: “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8). What might obstruct your faith this week? Are there questions for which you do not have answers? Pray for God to reveal Himself in a mighty way in that specific area. Remember, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29b).


The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior