Trust and Obey?
(By Rev Paul Graham)
Read John 20:24-31
Some questions for you to ponder:
- If you see a “Wet Paint” sign, are you tempted to see if it’s true?
- Have you ever gone into a field where the warning has been to “Beware of the bull” but there wasn’t a bull in sight?
- What was the last thing that you believed on the word of a friend?
You’ve probably guessed where we’re going with this one…
What did it take to convince Thomas? Not the word of his friends at least. It needed the physical presence of Jesus to persuade Thomas, even if he shied away from actually touching the freshly wounded hands and side.
So, what about us? What persuades us about Jesus to profess faith in him? Maybe we can draw influence from some others through recent history.
The Swiss theologian Karl Barth, writer of the 2,000+ page Church Dogmatics, summarised his vast understanding of the Christian faith with the words of the Sunday School song “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Do you relate to this?
Or are you more akin to CS Lewis, whose journey to faith was more circuitous. After a long struggle with intellectual arguments both for and against, we read in his autobiographical Surprised by Joy these words: “…I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps… the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” Does this sound familiar?
Or do you find common ground with the American author and former journalist Lee Strobel, who needed the weight of evidence to convince him to take that final step of faith. In his book The Case for Christ, Strobel writes that this step was made in a way “that was reasonable, that was rational, that was logical.” Is that you?
Or are you like so many others for whom evidence of Jesus is seen through the lives of others. Whether it was a treasured Sunday School teacher, a dedicated Youth Leader or someone else who lived the grace-fuelled Christian life; these may well have been your influence. You may also have been someone’s influence in return.
Or was it something else? Or are you waiting to be convinced?
If you are one of those who can say with conviction that Jesus is Lord and Saviour, then know that Jesus has these words for you: “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (v29). If you are not there yet, my hope is that you will see enough evidence of faith in the rest of us to help you find your way to Jesus.
Be blessed, be a blessing.