You don’t have to review much of Cold-Case Christianity to comprehend I’m an evidentialist. The pretension customarily gives it away. As a result, my inbox is filled with email from people who wish to convince me that loyal faith is eccentric of evidence. Many of them indicate to the obvious thoroughfare in John section 20 where Thomas expresses his doubt that Jesus has been resurrected.
When Jesus presented Himself to Thomas, He done an critical matter that is spasmodic offering as an confirmation of some form of “blind faith”:
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He pronounced to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and strech here your palm and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and pronounced to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus pronounced to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and nonetheless believed” (John 20:26-29).
Without any other context to know what Jesus believed about the attribute between justification and faith, this singular judgment (“Blessed are they who did not see, and nonetheless believed”) does sound like an publicity of faith eccentric of evidential support. But context changes everything. Like other declarations offering by Jesus, this matter has to be reconciled with all else Jesus pronounced and did before we can truly know what He believed about the role of evidence.
As it turns out, the Apostle John wrote some-more about Jesus’ evidential proceed than any other Gospel author. According to John, Jesus regularly offering the justification of His miracles to determine his temperament and told His observers that this justification was sufficient:
“Believe me when we contend that we am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at slightest trust on the justification of the miracles themselves” (John 14:11).
“If we do not do the works of My Father, do not trust Me; but if we do them, nonetheless you do not trust Me, trust the works, so that you may know and know that the Father is in Me, and we in the Father” (John 10:37-38).
“…the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that we do, attest about Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36).
John frequently described Jesus as someone who offering the justification of his supernatural energy to denote His Deity. In fact, the thoroughfare describing Thomas’ doubt is also an confirmation of an evidential faith, if it is review in its entirety:
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were observant to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he pronounced to them, “Unless we see in His hands the impress of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my palm into His side, we will not believe.” After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He pronounced to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and strech here your palm and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and pronounced to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and nonetheless believed.” Therefore many other signs Jesus also achieved in the participation of the disciples, which are not created in this book; but these have been created so that you may trust that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that desiring you may have life in His name (John 20:25-31).
John creates an critical matter right after the line that is typically offering to “demonstrate” Jesus’ purported confirmation of a non-evidential faith: “Therefore many other signs Jesus also achieved in the participation of the disciples…” What? Blessed are those who did not see and nonetheless believed, therefore many other signs Jesus also achieved in the participation of the disciples? Do you see the counterbalance here? Why would Jesus continue to yield justification if those who trust without justification are ostensible to be blessed? The answer is found, once again, in the Gospel of John. In Jesus’ famous request to the Father, he prayed for togetherness and He delicately enclosed those of us who would turn Christians prolonged after Jesus ascended into Heaven:
“I do not ask on interest of these (the disciples) alone, but for those also who trust in Me by their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and we in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the universe may trust that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21).
Jesus is articulate here about all the people (like you and me) who will trust in Jesus not since of what we will see with the own eyes but since of what the disciples saw and available as eyewitnesses (“their word”). Yes, Thomas was sanctified to trust on the basement of what he saw, but how much some-more sanctified are those who will someday believe, not on the basement of what they will see, but on the basement of what the disciples saw and steadily recorded. Jesus accepted the value of justification and ceaselessly supposing “many convincing proofs” (Acts 1:2-3) to His supporters so they could record their observations and change the universe with their testimony. Jesus commended this process; His difference to Thomas were not an confirmation of “blind faith”.
J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, Christian Case Maker, comparison associate at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the author of “Cold-Case Christianity,” “Cold-Case Christianity for Kids,” “God’s Crime Scene,” and “Forensic Faith.”
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This essay first seemed at J. Warner’s ColdCaseChristianity.com website.