Faith believes without seeing or touching.
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the twelve was not with the others when the resurrected Jesus came to visit. He did not have enough faith to believe the visitor was the risen Lord and demanded he first for himself, saying “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25) He is now remembered evermore as ‘Doubting Thomas.’
John 20:26-29 completes this story when “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””
Now Thomas believed, but only because he both saw and touched. As Christians we are asked to have a Faith which is without seeing or touching. For there is no faith, if you have to see or touch before you will believe.
Faith is important for a Christian. It is defensive, for in Ephesians 6:16 we are admonished “in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Without faith we are quite simply, lost to the enemy.
Martha passed the test of belief in Jesus when her brother Lazarus died. John 11:23-28 tells us: “Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
Confirmation of this is given later in the same passage v39-44 where Jesus instructs them to ““Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” And the man who had died, came out.”
A bright light on the Damascus Road changed Saul, a persecutor of Christians, to Paul, the lead apostle of his day. He believed and his direction, beliefs and life style changed totally, as he waited for the restoration of his sight.
Let us watch for the snares of the enemy and proceed on that road which our Saviour has chosen for us; at all times wearing the armour of the Lord and carrying the Shield of Faith.