19 May 2020
“Jesus said to him (Thomas), ‘Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'”.
This is addressed to Thomas, one of the disciples, who earlier on have said, “Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe”(20:25b).
Many have referred to Thomas as ‘doubting Thomas’ – why did he respond in this manner and did not believe the testimony of the women and the other disciples? We need to pause here and realise that in some ways, we are also like Thomas. We also should consider what the Lord Jesus said about the blessedness of those who have not seen and yet have believed.
Today, we are not able to see the Lord Jesus physically and hence not be able to ‘help’ our belief by doing what Thomas did. But we may actually be like him in the posture of only believing after seeing. Are there not many who declared that they would believe only if they can see God or His ‘miracles’? Are there not so-called believers who doubt God because they cannot satisfy their logic or understanding regarding some issues, theological or otherwise?
We must understand that God does not profess to answer in the Bible all the questions that we, in our curiosity, would like to ask. And God leaves unsolved some of the problems raised by what He tells us to teach us a humble trust in Him as the true perfect Creator who is perfectly wise and dependable.
We should not abandon faith in anything God has taught merely because we cannot solve all the problems which it raises. Our intellectual understanding is not the measure of divine truth. Instead we should believe in order to understand. We must take God’s word and believe that He has spoken the truth though we cannot fully comprehend what He has said. We must remember, that as human, we have limited perspective and understanding when compared to the transcendent almighty. Hence what the Lord Jesus said makes sense – blessed are those who believe even when they have not seen – this is faith expressed, faith in the one who is God and who is perfect in all His ways. It is enough that God has said it. Like the centurion whose servant was healed by Jesus, it is enough for Jesus to say it and he believed that it would be done.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever…(Deut. 29:29).
We must be content to know that God reveals all that is needful for our faith. Beyond that, we need not ask to know and we probably would not understand even if God were to reveal to us some of the secret things. Try teaching additional mathematics to a young child who has not learn even to add. We need to stay within the limits of Bible teaching and wait upon the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures to us as He sees fit.
Therefore we should not hesitate to commit ourselves to faith in the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Scripture as the infallible Word of the infallible God, even though we cannot solve all the puzzles, nor reconcile all the apparent contradictions. In all these, we have God’s positive assurance and that is enough.