Some Say Seeing Is Believing
(Upon Returning from a Trip to the Holy Land)
Some say seeing is believing.  In that regard, the words of our Lord to Thomas are most
instructive: “Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the
disciples when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ 
But He said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where
the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’  A week later his
disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.  Though the doors were
locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’  Then He said
to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my
side.  Stop doubting and believe.’  Thomas said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’  Then
Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who
have not seen and yet have believed.’  Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the
presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that
you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may
have life in his name.”, Jn. 20:24-31.
Thomas’ belief was authenticated by his sight, but Jesus made clear our belief is
authenticated by Thomas’ sight – and that of the other disciples.  In other words, seeing is
believing when we speak of the disciples’ faith, but our believing is based on what the
disciples saw!  As Peter wrote: “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told
you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of
his majesty.  For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came
to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am
well pleased.’  We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with
Him on the sacred mountain.”, II Peter 1:16-18.
John makes the same point: “ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched
– this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life.  The Life appeared; we have seen it and
testify to it, and we proclaim to you the Eternal Life, which was with the Father and has
appeared to us.  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may have
fellowship with us.  And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus
Christ.”, I Jn. 1:1-3.
What does this have to do with a trip to the Holy Land?  Some may give the impression
there is something missing in a Christian’s life if a trip to the Holy Land has not been
experienced.  Without a doubt, traveling in Israel and Jordan does give a firsthand view
of the environment of God’s revelation through his prophets and apostles – and especially
through his Son, Jesus Christ.  Holy Land travel does provide some unforgettable images
of sites which form the backdrop for biblical events.  However, all that being said, what
we have in our hands, the Holy Scriptures, are of infinitely more value because it is
through these Scriptures we believe – on the testimony of eye-witnesses.  “Consequently,
faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of
Christ”, Rom. 10:17.