Just Sightseeing

Today’s Gospel Passage: John 20: 19-31

open hand When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

I love Thomas.  The truth is that I find a lot of my self in him.  First of all, I’m one of those that never seems to be at the right place at the right time.  I’m continually thinking, “why didn’t I think of that?”, “why didn’t I ask for that?”, or “why wasn’t I there for that"?”.  Thomas had missed the “first showing of Jesus”, perhaps because he was doing something wonderful but if he was like me, he was off being Martha somewhere!

And then he wanted proof.  I mean, don’t we all?  Perhaps we’re just afraid to ask for it.  But what if he didn’t care about proof?  What if he didn’t need to be certain?  What if he just needed to touch Jesus?  What if he just needed to know Jesus?

The truth is that “seeing” with our eyes is probably not all its cracked up to be.  Perhaps it even gets in the way.  And yet, most of us are really just “sightseers” as far as Jesus is concerned.  We want it to be right.  It’s even better if we can touch it and prove it and then go on with our lives.  But, either way, certainty is what we crave.

And yet, certainty is surely the downfall of our faith.  Why do we have to have proof?  Why do we have to be certain?  I’m thinking a little doubt never hurt anyone.  It makes you search and question and desire the Truth.  It even makes you want to touch the thing that you don’t understand.  And it will never allow you to just “go on with your lives”…in fact, no more sightseeing; you’ve really got to live there to understand.

Grace and Peace,

Shelli

 

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