Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blessed Are Those Who Do Not See But Believe

The famous "Doubting Thomas" story. John 20:24-29. Thomas Didymus (the Twin) is told by the other disciples that Jesus has come back, and refuses to believe unless he sees and feels for himself that it is so (or that is how it is normally interpreted, we are never told in the text that Thomas actually feels Jesus' wounds). Jesus obliges, but comments, "blessed are those who have not seen but believe." But as my friend Andrew Jeffery pointed out to me oh so long ago, perhaps the more important part of the story is that Jesus acquiesces to Thomas' need for evidence.

I am a naturally skeptical person. I needed to see to truly believe. I have seen, and so I believe. I am very much like Thomas. So what do I make of Jesus' negative response to Thomas' need for evidence?

My interpretation of this text is different from most. I agree with Andrew that the more important point is that Thomas gets his evidence. I think that, perhaps, there is a cost to 'seeing', and that when Jesus says that those who do not see but believe, those who do not need evidence, are 'blessed'. They are blessed because they can have the faith they need without the cost of 'seeing'.

Once you see, you see. God is always there, what changes when you are granted vision of God Father, Son and/or Holy Spirit is you. God opens your eyes. But once opened, it seems it is very hard to shut one's eyes again. You can see the grand drama playing out all around you. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The Book of Revelation represents this perfectly. John is bombarded by imagery too much for any person to bear. You get assaulted by the truth.

"The Truth will set you free, but not until the Truth is done with you." Once you've had vision, once you've seen your savior face to face, it is hard to live without it. Additionally, once you see, you can see all that opposes God too. Yet life without this vision becomes dull and grey. You at once need to KEEP seeing, and yet it all becomes so overwhelming sometimes. There is a deep blessing in those who have faith enough to believe without seeing.

No comments:

Post a Comment