Luke 24:38-41 – He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" (NIV)
My dad went blind early in his retirement, suffering from retinitis pigmentosis. It was sad to watch, as he slowly lost first the centre sight and then finally the rim. For a while, he could still weed the garden, for he could see shades of grey. Earthen shades differ from potato plants when there are only shades of grey, no colours.
There are also many shades of grey where belief in the risen Lord Jesus is weakened, when the authenticity of Jesus' resurrection is challenged by certain books and movies. Oh! If only we could touch Him. Would that strengthen belief?
The people all crowded around Jesus trying to get in close enough to touch Him. (Luke 6:17-19) The woman with a hemorrhage touched Jesus and He knew power had gone out of Him, healing her. (Matthew 9:20) Oh! If only we could touch Him. Would we then participate in His power? The early church became much stronger because they could touch the risen Lord Jesus. Thomas certainly changed from being a doubter to a strong believer, and as some historians record, went to India where he founded the church there.
My dad, when asked why God let him go blind, answered emphatically, "It was so that my soul could see." So it is with us. We cannot see Him in the flesh, we cannot touch Him with these hands, but our soul can and does touch Him and receive His power as we move into the realm of faith. If we depended on the touch, the physical, the DNA of a person, that would not make belief any stronger; only faith does.
My dad passed down to me an unshakeable faith. It was very evident that his soul could see the heights and depths of God's wonderful grace, empowering him in ministry. So, "We do not lose heart. We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16a,18) This is resurrection faith — as our souls reach out and touch our risen Lord with joy.
Prayer: Lord, open our eyes that we may see — You! We confess that doubt and fear make us weak when our faith is assailed by unseen foes and as temporal powers try to deceive. Thank You for the struggle that strengthens our faith. Thank You for the hope we have in You of new life. Thank You that the influences of popular expression do not weaken our resolve to stay close to You this day. "Though outwardly we waste away and get weaker, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:16-17) In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.