The Wonder of Those Who Have Not Seen
The "why's" and "how's" of faith
Why do we believe in Jesus? Why do we follow him? Why do we rejoice?
The “Why” in each of those questions could be replaced with “How?” We can say for certain that it is not because of anything we have ever done or accomplished. Certainly not because of any inherent goodness within ourselves. How could there be? We were dead in our sins and transgressions prior to God’s rescue. Yet, God has taken us from the realm of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of light. We believe, follow, love, and rejoice because God has been so gracious to us that we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
In 1 Peter 1:8-9 we are made aware of the wonder that there could be such a faith. It is interesting to note how Peter opens the two sentences that make up verse 8, “Though you have not seen him” and “Though you do not now see him.”
Maybe you have heard someone say, or even thought to yourself at one point or another, “Oh, if only I could physically see Jesus then things would be easier.” I know I have.
In a way, Peter is addressing the wonder that there are many people who believe and follow Jesus even though they never saw him in the flesh. Remember who is writing this letter: one of Jesus’ closest friends during his earthly ministry. The man who felt so comfortable with Jesus, he rebuked the Lord of the universe. The man who was so flustered on the Mount of Transfiguration that he told Jesus they ought to set up a few memorial tents.
Peter spent three years of ministry with Jesus and at the end of that time, denied him. This is a humbled Peter. This is a Peter who understands human weakness and so marvels at the faith of the saints. This is a man aware of his failure at times to follow Jesus while he was with him in earthly ministry. And so he rejoices at the many who love Jesus though never having seen him. We should be encouraged by this; to believe in a man we have never seen must be the result of something awesome.
There is a sense of marvel, I think, in Peter’s words. He is pondering at the wonder that the Holy Spirit has breathed new life into people and caused them to believe in Jesus and faithfully follow him.
And one day, when we are finally called home, we will have obtained the salvation of our souls as we dwell with Jesus.
Will Stockdale is a Ministry Associate and cohost of The Will & Rob Show.