Happy are those who believe: John 20.24–29 (Day 364)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.


Daily reflection: John 20

John's stories of Jesus' resurrection appearances are the most vivid, memorable and personal of all the Gospel writers. One of them in this chapter is his encounter with Thomas – for ever afterwards, rather unfairly, called 'Doubting Thomas'.

However, it's the verse at the end of this little story that tells us what it's really about. 'Jesus said to him, "Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!"' (verse 29).

These people are all those who have never had the opportunity of seeing him in the flesh and have to take on trust the testimony of those who have. In other words, they are us. Whatever our experiences of God's presence – and these are often very deep and powerful – we haven't been able to touch the nail-marks in Jesus' hands or feel the wound in his side. We walk by faith, not by sight. But Jesus says believers like us are 'blessed', even beyond those who do have the evidence of their own eyes.

We might think this is odd – after all, it would be nice to have proof of what we believe. But faith can be far more powerful than sight. We're moved to action by feelings and stories, not by mathematical proofs. Hebrews 11.1 says that to have faith is 'to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see' – and follows it with a list of the astonishing achievements of faith-full people. It's believers who are blessed.



God, when I don't find it easy to believe, bless me with the gift of faith. Let me know your presence with me and your power in my life.

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