After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:26-29

We often say, “If I had lived in Jesus’ day, believing would have been easy! If I had opportunity to see what they saw, placing faith in Jesus as the Christ would have been easy!” You can decide for yourself, but speaking for me, I am glad I did not live then. I do not conclude it would have been easier to have faith in Jesus when he was alive.

“Why would you conclude that?” For several reasons, I hold that conclusion. (1) Many were ruled by incorrect motives. Read Matthew 13:10-16; Matthew 15:1-14; John 6:26-33; and John 9:35-39. I fear I might have been one who did not wish to understand, or who was inconsistent, or who focused on physical needs rather than the spiritual meaning, or who experienced the power but did not know who Jesus was. (2) There were only about 120 (Acts 1:15) who remained committed to Jesus immediately after Jesus’ death. Who am I to think I would be one of those? Jesus healed a lot more the 120 people! (3) What God sent Jesus to do was radically different than most Jewish people expected! Not even the prophets and the angels understood what God was doing. They were curious in the extreme about God’s actions (1 Peter 1:12). (4) Many Christians died in that first 100 years for no reason other than faith in Jesus Christ! Are we willing to give our blood to retain our faith in Jesus Christ? (Today’s Christians find differences in congregations to be insurmountable obstacles—what a comparison!) I am not so certain that I would embrace faith in the resurrected Jesus in their circumstances!

A faith that challenged always existed as the foundation that caused people to follow God. God obviously was working toward His solution to sin in Genesis 12:3 when He promised Abraham his descendants would bring a blessing to all nations. From the time of that promise to Jesus’ coming was approximately 2,000 years. When Jesus’ ministry began, neither Jesus nor his ministry was at all what the Jewish people anticipated. Not even the apostle Peter fully understood what God was doing long after Jesus’ resurrection—carefully read Acts 10:9-20, 29, 34-36. There has never been a time when it was easy to invest life in Jesus Christ through faith in God’s work through him.

Dare to trust in Jesus by being “one who has not seen,” but one who believes in God’s work in Jesus Christ. Never stop believing in what God did and continues to do in Jesus! Never trust yourself! Always trust in what God did in Jesus! Serve Jesus because you trust God. Dare to be who you are because you trust who Jesus is! Always view life as an investment because your life is an investment—whether you view it that way or not!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 16 October 2008

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