Invisible – but present

Many Christians – myself included – would love to see Jesus right now among us.

One reason is that, consciously or unconsciously, we believe Jesus’ physical presence would resolve all our faith questions.  It would strengthen our faith.

Or would it?

Jesus lived on earth in human form for 33 years.  But few people believed he was the Messiah while he was here.

The fact is that God looks for something in me that is beyond concrete evidence.  He is looking for faith.

I think there is a lot of Jesus’ disciple Thomas in me.

As you recall, Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he had put his hands on the mark of the nails on his body and his hand into the hole where the Roman spear had pierced it (John 20:25).

When Jesus appeared to Thomas, he told him to look at his nail-pierced hands and touch the hole in his side.  And the disciple declared: “My Lord and my God.”

Then, Jesus made his great statement: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I believe in Jesus.  I believe he died to save me from the just penalty of my sins.  I believe he rose from the dead.  I believe I will be with him forever.

My faith in him and what he has done is unshakeable.

But I am also filled with a lot of Thomas in everyday life.

Part of the reason is that like many Western Christians, I am infected by our modern scientific and technological mindset.  That philosophy argues that if you can’t see it and touch it, it must not be real.

But I know from God’s word that that view is wrong.

The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that there is an unseen reality much more powerful than what we see on earth.  There is a spiritual war going on that we don’t see.

As a child of God, I can do nothing on my own in this cosmic struggle.  I must rely totally on God.  I must rely on the Holy Spirit within me to show me what to do in this unseen struggle.

Jesus promised me and all his followers that he would be with us always.  He is not visible to my human eyes – but he is present.

I believe that with all my heart.

And I am thankful that Jesus forgave Thomas for his doubts.

Thomas later took the gospel to India.

Like Thomas, Jesus is asking me to step out in faith – and my faith will grow.

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