If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
18th Question – Do You Now Believe?
Seeing is not believing; believing is seeing.
After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to the disciples. The first time, Thomas was absent. When the other disciples told him, he retorted, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” [John 20:25].
Fortunately, Thomas didn’t have to wait long. Eight days later, Jesus reappeared when “doubting” Thomas was in the room. Jesus challenged him to feel where the nails and spear had left their marks on Him. After Thomas’ exclamation of belief, Jesus said,
“Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” [John 20:29].
The Christian life is one of faith, not sight [2 Corinthians 5:7]. Thomas saw and experienced; yet, Jesus commended those who believe without seeing.
In an earlier conversation with Jesus, the other disciples acted just like Thomas. They believed Jesus’ words after His further explanation. But, Jesus took that occasion to ask the pertinent question.
Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming…that you will be scattered…and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” [John 16:31-33, bold text added].
Faith in Christ is an amazing miracle. Tested faith—faith refined in the fires of persecution, tribulation, and adversity—is characteristic of genuine, devoted, committed followers. As Job said in his personal crisis, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” [Job 13:15]. Also, Daniel’s friends demonstrated such resolute faith when they faced the choice of bowing to Nebuchadnezzar or remaining faithful to God.
“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image” [Daniel 3:17-18, bold text added].
When the hour of testing arrives, may we be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” [1 Corinthians 15:58]. May we remain faithful to Jesus’ question because “our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” [Romans 13:11].