“whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
The gospels record several instances where Jesus interacted with His core group of disciples following His death and resurrection. However, Jesus’ best known post-resurrection appearance may have occurred with the disciple who is widely known today as “Doubting Thomas.” Their encounter serves to parallel our text from 1 Peter 1:8…
“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’
So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’
And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'” (John 20:24-29).
In hindsight, it may be easy to criticize Thomas and his refusal to believe the other disciples regarding Jesus’ resurrection. Nevertheless, we might argue that Thomas actually made a wise choice in one sense. You see, Thomas was unwilling to let others tell him what he should believe concerning Jesus. Instead, he was determined to validate the truth for himself. We can follow that example today by reading the Biblical Scriptures for ourselves to verify the truth concerning Jesus, as well as the claims that others make regarding Him.
That brings us to Jesus’ summary statement: “…The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!” (CEV). While there are many who believe that “seeing is believing,” the opposite is often true when it comes to the work of Christ is our lives. First we believe, and then we see.
This involves an element of faith, for “…without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 CEB). Since the Word of God also tells us, “the just shall live by faith,” we should not be surprised if God permits us to enter various life circumstances that require us to exercise it.