06 Oct Though We Have Not Seen, We Have Believed
In my current series of articles, I am sharing some of the lessons God has been teaching me in my recent years. One of the most profound and helpful things He has taught me lately is the power and blessings that come through believing in Jesus even though we have not seen Him.
Sometimes we think, “If I could only see Jesus in person, it would be so much easier to have faith”—but that is not necessarily true. Many people who saw Jesus’ miracles still did not come to faith, and even some of Jesus’ close disciples struggled with their faith. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, did not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he saw Jesus for himself (see John 20:24–29). Jesus told Thomas this:
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
Jesus made us all a promise that even though we have not seen Him, we can come to believe, and we will be blessed for our faith!
We don’t often realize that the vast majority of the first-century Christians did not see the resurrected Jesus in person either, and yet they were called to believe. Like us, they had to depend on the testimony of the witnesses who had seen the resurrected Jesus. Like us, they were called to believe, and like us, they were blessed for having great faith!
The apostle Peter points out a version of this same great promise in the passage below:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)
These early Christians, who had not seen Jesus, had come to faith and were “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Brothers and sisters, so it will be for us! We can come to love and believe in Him without seeing Him in our lifetime. God has taught me that if many of the early Christians came to faith in Him without having seen Him, so we also can come to faith.
In the first sermon ever preached about Jesus after His resurrection, Peter tells the people that he and the other apostles have seen the resurrected Christ:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:37-41)
Amazingly, 3,000 people who had not seen the resurrected Jesus came to believe because of the testimony of Peter and the other eyewitnesses, and they were baptized into Christ on that very day.
We can also put our faith in God even though we cannot see Him. Jesus assures us that though we do not see God when we pray, he sees us:
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
This teaching has helped me to believe that when we pray, even though we do not see God, we are in His sight and receive His blessings!
Let’s all be assured that we can have faith and be close to Jesus even though we were not there to see Him and His miracles in His lifetime on earth. Our faith doesn’t have to come from being eyewitnesses ourselves, but can depend on the truthful testimonies of His disciples who saw Him and recorded it for us in the Word of God!