ODJ: on the fence

October 29, 2013 

READ: John 20:19-29 

I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands (v.25).

Picture a car perched atop a metal fence—the front end on one side and the back bumper on the other side. Law enforcement agents discovered this unlikely scene when they foiled an attempt by smugglers to cross the American border from Mexico illegally. Two men had driven up ramps to the top of the 14 foot fence, and hoped to drive the car down the same way to their desired destination. When the border agents arrived on the scene, the men fled.

Being unable to move forward or backward captures the spiritual state of some people. They want to believe in Jesus as the way to salvation, yet doubts prevent them from fully accepting this truth.

Although several disciples announced they had seen Jesus alive after His death, Thomas doubted. He said, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands” (v.25). A week later, Thomas was holed up with the disciples in a locked room. Suddenly Jesus appeared and invited the doubting disciple to examine Him. Jesus understood Thomas’ doubts and provided the assurance he needed. Then Christ said, “Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (v.27).

Do you hear Jesus speaking those words to you today? Maybe, like Thomas, you want tangible evidence of the Lord’s resurrection. Thankfully, it’s possible to believe in Him without the same level of proof that Thomas had. We know this because Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me” (v.29).

If you want to know Jesus, God can turn that desire into a real relationship with Him. Bring your doubts—whatever they are—to God. Search the Bible for spiritual guidance, and ask God to open your eyes to the truth about His Son. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Look up 1 Peter 1:8-9 to see the reward for trusting Jesus even though we have never seen Him. Read Mark 9:14-29 to learn how one man tried to overcome his lack of faith. 
Why might believers occasionally struggle with doubt in certain areas of their spiritual lives? Why does the Bible compare one who doubts to an ocean wave tossed by the wind? (James 1:6-8).