John 20:29, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
I long to embrace my Lord. I groan in my suffering and the evil world angers me, slaughtering the unborn and justifying it by redefining personhood and what it means to be human. Come, Lord Jesus! I cannot stand this iniquity! In such a world, it is difficult to have faith. Sometimes I despair so much that I say to myself, “Is it even worth it? Where are You, Lord?” Yes, even I doubt, for no one hardly listens. They prefer to build their house on sand.
Yet here, Jesus says those who have not seen Him and yet believe are blessed. How so? Luther gives some insight, “Faith is the prerequisite before everything. If one has faith, all other things gush forth from it, like water from the rock and stone” (First Lectures on the Psalms, LW 11:146).
Jesus’ saying here is in the immediate context of His resurrection. Thomas did not believe; he had to see and feel Jesus in order to believe. So, Jesus says, those who believe in His resurrection though they have not seen are blessed—it is a blessing to believe without seeing. Those who wish to believe by seeing will be profoundly disappointed, for only with faith can one see (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Our faith came without seeing. Therefore, we must believe Christ is mysteriously at work against evil, though we cannot see it. We know His promise to bring life and to destroy evil. Therefore, we hold on to it, knowing we shall not fall.
©Featured image from The Incredulity of St. Thomas by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1601-1602.