WORD AND COMMENTARY

Art Battson

Director of Instructional Resources

University of California Santa Barbara


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." (John 20:27)


 

"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 also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." (1 John 1: 1-10)



A Christian's faith is built upon the work of the Holy Spirit, nurtured by the Word, and strengthened by the eyewitness accounts of those who doubted before us. The Christian does not follow cleverly devised myths, but rather declares what others had the opportunity to see with their eyes and feel with their hands. While the Christian faith does involve trust, it also has an empirical and historical foundation. The word was made flesh and walked among us (John 1).

John also reminds us (as though we needed reminding) that there is no room for self-righteousness in our walk with the Lord. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, "Come let us reason together," says the Lord, "though your sins are as scarlet they shall be white as snow." That's what the good news is all about.