Touching the Basketball (John 20:25)

The other evening, I was watching a professional basketball game. At one point several players converged upon a loose ball. After the play was whistled dead by the referee, he picked up the ball and examined it. It was slick with sweat so he proceeded to bring it to scorer’s table and replace it with a new ball. What happened next was intriguing. At least 5 of the players on the court wanted to touch and handle the ball. When one’s livelihood depends upon the proper care and maintenance of the equipment, all precautions and steps will be taken to ensure perfection and acceptance. They could see the ball and undoubtedly trusted the referee, but until they actually touched the ball, they would not be convinced.

The episode reminded me of the doubt that Thomas displayed when he heard that Jesus had risen from the dead. No doubt he trusted his fellow disciples, he heard the testimony of Mary Magdalene, and he saw the changed behaviors. But it was not enough for him. He had to physically touch Jesus. He had to be convinced.

So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “ Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
John 20:25 (ESV)

Jesus would then utter these prescient words.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29 (ESV)

At this moment, I cannot touch my Lord. But someday, in Heaven, I will be able to and speak to Him face to face. It will be the most glorious day of my existence! Until then, I must believe and look forward to that day, as Jesus has commanded me.

Praise God!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.