Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, was not with them for this visit. When Thomas returned, his friends told him Jesus somehow had entered the locked room and stood with them. Thomas did not believe them. He wanted proof, to be his own eyewitness.
One week later, Jesus again stood among them. This time, Thomas was present.
Jesus told them, “Peace be with you,” then held out his hands to offer Thomas the chance to see for himself that the Risen Lord was standing before. Not a ghost or vision, but real flesh and bones.
Thomas had seen enough. “My Lord and my God,” he proclaimed.
At these words of Thomas, Jesus responds, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus performed many miracles, signs of his divinity, and yet there are those who still did not believe. Sometimes, even when we see things with our own eyes, we don’t believe they happen.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary offers this definition for believe: “To accept something as true, genuine, or real.”
Often, this belief comes from evidence or the words of eyewitnesses. But how can we believe when the evidence is no longer available, or the eyewitnesses have long since left this earthly plane?
This is when faith comes into play.
We can turn to the Bible for our definition of faith. “Now, faith is assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).”
What if our faith is not strong enough? What if, even though we desperately want to do so, we still cannot believe?
Perhaps the answer lies in the man who brought his son to Jesus to be healed (Mark 9:22-25).
“…if you are able to do anything, help us! Have compassion on us!” Jesus responded, “If you are able? All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” At that, Jesus heals the young boy.
When you have doubts, when your faith is weak, repeat the words of this desperate father, “I believe; help my unbelief.”
The Rev. David Clothier is priest-in-charge at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Crestview.
602 S. Main St.
Crestview, FL 32536
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