Today's Reading: John 20:19-31
Jesus said, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven...Blessed are those who did not see and yet believed." (John 20:23, 29)
He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When we look at unbelieving Thomas, we might begin to think that "seeing is believing." We think that if we only saw what He saw, we'd believe more strongly. But that's simply not the case. It's a lie of our Old Adam, who uses his eyes more than his ears. For our Old Adam only seeing is believing.
That's how it was in the Garden. Eve was deceived by her eyes, so her heart turned from Yahweh and His Word. Then she gave to Adam, and his ears and heart were turned, too.
The truth is lots of people saw Jesus' miracles. They couldn't be denied! He healed the sick. He fed thousands. He cast out demons. He raised the dead. He was doing things only God could do. The chief priests, the teachers of the Law, the Pharisees, and even Judas Iscariot himself saw these things. They didn't just not believe, they wanted Jesus dead, and Judas betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver.
Thomas didn't believe what He heard: "Jesus is alive!" Dead people stay dead. Thomas heard what Jesus said, "Be not unbelieving but believing!" Jesus' Word did what He said! Thomas believed! He went from unbelief to faith, from death to life, from "seeing is believing" to "hearing is believing."
So also you. If you want stronger faith, your eyes won't do the trick. Jesus even said so, "Blessed are those who did not see and yet believed." That's you. You believe what you hear from Jesus by listening to what you hear from your pastor. Your pastor is there to forgive your sins. You hear him say it: "By the command of our Lord Jesus, I forgive you all your sins." That Word does what it says, and your sins are forgiven. Then you, like Thomas, move from death to life, from sin to forgiveness, from guilt to peace, from unbelief to faith.
It's all from Jesus. He died. He rose. You hear His voice, and He sounds like your pastor. That's just the way Jesus wants it. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and merciful God, as You have brought us to celebrate the festival of the Lord's resurrection, cause us by Your grace to bring forth the fruits thereof in our life and conduct; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for Quasimodo Geniti)