Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thomas Saw

Did Jesus show Himself to Thomas to get Thomas to believe in Him? (John 20)

That's what we usually hear.

But Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing, not by seeing. In the resurrection accounts, Luke (chapter 24) shows us that the Emmaus disciples did not see Jesus even though they saw Him. It was His preaching that thrilled their hearts, and it was the breaking of the bread that finally opened their eyes to see.

Thomas's seeing was not Jesus' scheme to get Thomas to change his mind about the stories the others had been telling him. Thomas saw because Jesus had said beforehand that the apostles would see Him. Jesus chose His apostles; they needed to be witnesses of the resurrected body of the Lord. Jesus had promised them on Thursday night (John 16) that for a little while they would not see Him, because He was going to the Father, but that after a little while they would see Him. And Jesus' word always always comes true.

Thomas saw in fulfillment of Jesus' word -- not because it was the only way Jesus could think of to convince Thomas of the resurrection.

Seeing is not believing.
Hearing is believing.


  1. I don't think it's fair to say that seeing is not believing. After all, Jesus does say to Thomas, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed."

    In fact, I think seeing and hearing have to go hand-in-hand. We hear what they saw and heard. Their testimony isn't just about what Jesus says, but about what He does, which they saw with their own eyes.

    And we have a sense in Scripture in which once we enter heaven, hearing and seeing will be made perfect. In fact, our hope is that we will see the Lord.

    And I don't think that contradicts St. Paul's words, either. After all, he says what he says being one who saw the Lord, and as a result of both seeing Jesus and hearing His testimony concerning himself, St. Paul believed.

    Sorry. Not trying to sound argumentative here or anything! I'd definitely agree that for us seeing is not believing, because we can't see- the Lord revealed Himself in the flesh to others, but not to us- not yet.

    But I do think it is precisely because they both saw and heard and believed, that we can hear and believe. And the Lord goes on to say, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

  2. Nathan, I guess this is what I'm trying to say: a person can hear and believe. A person can hear-and-see and believe. A person cannot see-only and believe.