The Blessing Of Faith
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
1 Peter 1:8 (NIV)
Peter was impressed by the loving faith of those who had never seen the risen Christ.
Following Christ’s resurrection, on “the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.” Peter and the rest of “the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19-20).
Thomas, however, had not been there when Jesus appeared. He insisted that he would not accept the resurrection unless he put his finger on the nail marks of Christ’s hands and placed his own hand where the spear had pierced Christ’ side.
“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!’” (20:26-28). Scripture does not record whether Thomas did proceed to touch Christ’s wounds. Maybe the presence of Christ was enough.
The physical evidence convinced Thomas as it had Peter and the other disciples. The Lord had indeed been raised from the dead. Jesus was alive.
Just like Thomas, we too were not there on that first Sunday evening when the risen Jesus appeared to the disciples. We did not have the privilege of actually seeing Jesus.
Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (20:29). I wonder whether Peter, who was there when Christ spoke to Thomas, had those words in mind when he wrote the verse quoted at the beginning of this study: “though you have not seen him, you love him”.
Jesus said that we are blessed because we believe even though we have not seen. You love him though you have not seen him physically, and are blessed because “you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9).
Father, we did not see Jesus when he was resurrected, and yet in faith we believe that he is risen from the grave and that he lives in us through the Spirit . Thank you for the blessing of faith. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson