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To See or Not to See … (with apologies to William Shakespeare)
A message from Rev Ian Weeks
I think the disciple Thomas gets a lot of bad press. To be only remembered as Doubting Thomas is a bit harsh. I think Thomas was a true believer. He wasn’t going to be conned into a ridiculous idea that a dead person had come back to life – his faith, his life, his future, was going to be built upon a reasonable and sure foundation.
In the end, in John’s Gospel, we see that is exactly what happened – he saw the risen Jesus, in the flesh, personally, right in front of him – and he believed, making that wonderful affirmation: “My Lord and my God!”(John 20:28). I think Thomas deserves to be a model of reasoned and thoughtful faith, and humble surrender with fervent conviction in the face of truth.
But what about us who have not “seen” the risen Jesus as the disciples had? Thankfully Jesus himself gives us a great promise: “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29). God, in His grace, has provided us with all the necessary information and evidence that we need to believe with a reasoned, thoughtful foundation: the Biblical witness, including the eyewitness accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (see John 20:30, 31). And so, some 2000 years later, we too are able to “see” the risen Jesus and know He is alive!
Over the next few weeks we will continue to see who Jesus is as we read through Paul’s letter to the Colossians – 1st century Christians in what is now Turkey – who were in danger of not seeing who Jesus really is. In his letter Paul presents a majestic picture of Jesus that is a real eye-opener (Colossians 1) and, if we have eyes to see, challenges us how we will then respond to the confronting nature of Jesus’ Kingship. We may, like Thomas, acknowledge the truth and surrender. Or we could turn a blind eye and continue to live in denial. To see or not too see, that is the question!
I invite you to read through the letter to the Colossians in your Bible, and join in this journey of discovery of seeing and believing: The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!
Mission of the Month – June 2018