Today’s Gospel, John 20:19-31, tells the familiar story of “Doubting Thomas,” who refused to believe Jesus was risen until he saw Jesus with his own eyes, and felt his nail wounds with his own hands. Jesus did not exactly rebuke Thomas for his lack of faith, but he did say that “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

This passage does not necessitate particularly deep analysis. It’s one of the most clear and direct messages Jesus gives us. There’s no parable; there’s just the lesson: Believe. Believe, based on the testimony of those we have reason to trust. Believe, based on what we have already experienced of Christ in the world. Believe, because in our hearts we should already know that God can and does work wonders, and that those wonders are good.

Yet what Jesus said to Thomas is not merely a command, and not merely a promise that those who believe will be blessed. It also is a comfort: If we do not see Jesus as clearly as Thomas was allowed to see, and if we do not experience Christ in the flesh, we should not be alarmed. We can be expected to have doubts, and expected to experience some confusion. It is no sin to be human, with a human need for reassurance. Christ, in His own good time and in His own way, will show us the places where He was wounded, and where He had been healed — and raised.

“These are written,” ends today’s reading, “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Will you believe? Doubt not.

 

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