“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
The evening of that first Easter Day the disciples of Jesus were all together in one place. That is, all except for one disciple, Thomas, who was somewhere else, we are not sure where. That evening Jesus came and showed Himself alive to the disciples. They were glad and overjoyed when they saw their dear Lord risen and living. The next chance they had, Jesus’ disciples shared the good news with their friend Thomas: “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas did not believe them. Their word was not enough for him. Thomas stated loud and clear that unless he saw Jesus with his own eyes and touched Jesus’ wounds with his own hands, he would never believe.
Jesus did not want Thomas to remain in unbelief, and so a week later the Lord came and showed Himself alive to His disciples once again. This time Thomas was with them, so Jesus spoke directly to Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” The next moment Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
Thomas believed, but it took seeing Jesus to make it happen. In our text Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Here Jesus is talking about people who have never had the chance, like Thomas and the first disciples, to see the risen Lord with their own eyes or touch him with their hands. This describes the vast majority of Christians down through the ages! It describes you and me. We have never seen Jesus, yet thanks be to God, we believe that He is risen.
The Holy Spirit works through the Word to rid us of our natural tendency toward unbelief. He clears away our doubt and works faith in our hearts to believe that Jesus has truly redeemed us and that He lives. Through the Gospel testimony of those first eyewitnesses, as recorded in the New Testament, we have come to believe that Jesus is our Savior from sin, death, and hell, and that He gives us eternal life.
Jesus calls us blessed who believe in Him—happy and glad. Truly, Jesus’ resurrection brings joy to our hearts and also gives us a wonderful message to tell the world.
Risen and living Lord Jesus, I praise You, that You were willing to die to redeem a sinful person like me. Strengthen my faith in You and use me to tell others the good news that You live. Amen.