Seeing is Believing

Justin MarshallSermons

John 20:1–9 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Have you ever seen how two people can be looking at exactly the same object or event and still see something different?

Mary sees the stone rolled away – the empty tomb

Thinks someone has moved the body

Peter and John go to the tomb – not willing to take Mary’s testimony, had to see for themselves

How often do we need to see something for ourselves before we’ll believe it?

John looks in, sees the linen cloths – may have assumed the body was still there since he probably could not see much in the early light

Peter goes in, sees the burial cloths – observes closely

Not sure what to make of it

Luke 24:12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Seeing doesn’t necessarily lead to faith

John goes in, sees – perceives

Believes – he probably remembered Jesus’ words that He would rise on the third day

Though not yet understanding

The same is true today:

Some people see the evidence for the resurrection and come up with different explanations

Some people simply don’t know what to make of it and leave it at that

Some believe, even if they don’t fully understand

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

2 Corinthians 5:7  We live by faith, not by sight.