[The rich man] answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.” Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” “No, father Abraham,” he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.” [Abraham] said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:27–31, NIV 1984).
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:16–17, NIV 1984).
My Musings – The rich man was sure that seeing is believing. But as incredulous as it may seem, and as just as Abraham said, seeing is not always believing. As so it was on the mountain, “some doubted.” Certainly not the eleven, for this occurred after the last of the eleven (“doubting Thomas”) was convinced. Commentators suggest others were certainly present, perhaps even the 500 Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 15:6.
But the point is not that some who saw doubted, or that most who saw believed. The point is, that countless since then who have not seen have nonetheless believed. How can that be? Certainly, they have “Moses and the Prophets.” Beyond that they have the four non-contradictory Gospel accounts. Including Matthew’s, which painstakingly outlines the numerous prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. Statistically, highly improbable. Unless of course, He was the “real deal.” They have the “Acts” of the Apostles, all but one of which died martyrs’ deaths for their belief. Deaths they certainly would have avoided if it all was a lie. They have the better part of the New Testament, penned by Paul. The poster child for doubters, who started out persecuting those who did believe, yet miraculously came a believer and defender of the faith. Could a lie cause such a dramatic change? And they have the extra-biblical accounts by historians of that time corroborating the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Some said, nothing good ever came from Nazareth. Yet these historians found a compelling story to record for posterity. And these proof claims are merely the tip of the iceberg.
My Advice – “Then Jesus told [Thomas], ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'”(John 20:29, NIV 1984). Some things you need to “see” with your heart. Seeing with those “eyes” is believing. But don’t just take my word for it. Go “see” for yourself.