What We Need To See

Second Sunday in Easter  |  John 20:19-31

Several days after he dies, Jesus appears in a locked room full of witnesses including a doubting disciple named Thomas. The wounds on Jesus’ body—the nail holes in his hands, the spear wound in his side—are still there.

Does that bother anyone else?

Almighty God chooses to become incarnate in a human form, performs amazing miracles, dies horribly on a cross, returns to life, and yet somehow fails to heal the wounds on this body? What sort of body is this resurrected one anyway? According to the gospel accounts, something certainly happened to the one that was laid in the tomb—when Mary Magdalene looked inside, no body was there. The implication is that Jesus occupies the same body as before his death, with the same wounds, but now he passes through closed doors, appears and disappears, things Jesus never was reported to have done previously.

What is different about this resurrected body, and why are the wounds still there? The answer must be, at least in part, that God shows us what we need to see.

Thomas, the gospel records plainly, needs Jesus to show himself, needs Jesus to let Thomas see those wounds and touch him. And so Jesus does.

On Canoe PointingThe implication is that God shows us what we need to see. It may not always make sense, not to a rational world view that does not take non-empirical matters into account. It may not even make sense to those people who do embrace matters of mysticism and of faith.

We hold that there are truths that we cannot measure, realities that we cannot measure or even touch and that we often fail to understand or to notice.

The question is whether we see what God shows us. It is different for everyone. A man standing at a bus stop sees a raindrop land on a bench, and to him it is only a raindrop, while the child beside him sees the whole world reflected in the eye of God.

God shows us what we need to see. Are we seeing what God shows us?