by Marilynn Chadwick
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ. John 20:31 (ESV)
"Seeing is believing," says the old adage. It is much easier to believe when we can see the evidence. Yet sometimes faith is the belief in the unseen—otherwise, it wouldn't be called faith. Much like the t-shirt I saw recently with this bold slogan emblazoned across the front: BELIEVING IS SEEING!
The disciples fought to cling to their faith as they watched Jesus die on that wretched cross. Everything they could see pointed to utter defeat! But what they could see with their eyes was not the whole story as they would soon discover.
The word “see” is sprinkled throughout today's reading of John 20. Mary Magdalene was the first to visit Jesus’s burial site. All she could see was an empty grave! Peter and John raced to the tomb to see for themselves. They looked inside to see the grave cloths folded, but no sign of Jesus anywhere. The Bible says they "saw and believed" (v. 8).
Later, Jesus appeared to Mary. She sees and believes. Then, he walks through a locked door and appears to the trembling disciples. They were overjoyed to see Jesus—and they believed! Somehow Thomas missed the first showing and refused to believe unless he saw for himself the nail marks in Jesus’s hands. Jesus makes a special visit to the one we know as "doubting Thomas." He lets him see and touch the nail holes—then challenges Thomas to stop doubting and believe (v. 27).
The Lord understands we sometimes wrestle to believe. Especially when it looks like evil has won the battle. That’s why John’s Gospel leaves us with these words of encouragement: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples…but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (vv. 30,31).
Signs are like God’s fingerprints. He wants us to believe that Jesus is the Christ. That’s why Jesus left signs—to help us believe!
Have you seen God’s fingerprints during our 21 Day Experiment? Have you experienced any form of encouragement? Maybe there’s a friend or family member that would be similarly encouraged by your story.
As we come to the end of our journey, I encourage you to carve out some extra time tomorrow to reflect on—and even write down—what you've seen. What you’ve heard from God. And what you believe about Jesus the Christ.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your fingerprints. Keep me watchful. Alert. Above all, help me to believe, even before I see what you are doing in and around me. That’s called trust—so today, I simply trust you.
Thanks for reading and listening with us this week! The “21 Day Experiment” blog and podcast will resume again on Monday.