I’ll believe it when I see it. That’s something you say when you’re told something rather outrageous, unbelievable or from someone who’s not exactly trustworthy.
Like when you hear about an overweight friend who’s been notoriously lazy say they’re joining a gym and planning to lose 40 pounds before Christmas. You reply, “Yeah, right – I’ll believe it when I see it.”
When Christmas rolls around and the person lost the 40 lbs. and more, you’re reaction is different, “Wow! You look great! You did it!”
If you had not seen the person, you would not have believed that they lost the weight. Or would you have taken someone else’s word for it?
Or when a politician promises something. That’s easy.
Here in John 20, we have the story of Doubting Thomas….
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”John 20:19-23
Jesus Appears to Thomas
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”John 20:24-29
Why do you think Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”? (John 20:29)
He knew that the disciples’ upcoming challenge was getting people who did not witness His death and resurrection to believe in Him and that it really happened. We still have that problem today.
How can you believe in something you can’t see?
We do it all the time. Take gravity for instance. We can’t see it, but we know what would happen if we didn’t have it. It’s a law — no doubt about it.
I could name some other things like time, air, wind etc. But that’s not the point.
The Rapture is coming. (Look for a future post on this.) Jesus will come back for His believers and then there will 7 years of tribulation. If you say, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” sorry, Charlie, but it will be too late.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
That is the law of the New Testament. There’s no getting around it. And unfortunately, we also know what will happen if we didn’t have Jesus — we’d die and burn in Hell forever.
John writes a closing to this chapter…
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.John 20:31
That’s what the Christian Salvation is all about.
If you want the assurance of a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!