He saw and believed. (John 20:8)
On that first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, and went running to Peter and John. When she told them someone had taken the Lord from the tomb, they ran to see for themselves. John reached the tomb first and looked inside, but Peter went straight into the tomb and saw the strips of linen lying there. Finally John also went in, and we read the words of our verse today: “He saw and believed.”
Now, John didn’t see what he thought he would see: the dead body of his Lord. John saw nothing, and it was at that point that the Scriptures tell us he believed. This was indeed a time when seeing nothing was something. Why? Because, for the very first time, the disciple whom Jesus loved was looking through the eyes of faith. Only when we are looking through the eyes of faith can we see nothing and it becomes something substantial . . . something life-changing. By faith, John saw that the tomb was empty on that first Easter morning, and he believed that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, just as He had told His disciples He would do.
In our natural selves, we see so little. For the most part, we live by the phrase, “Seeing is believing!” If we don’t see something, we don’t believe. By nature we are all just like Thomas, who said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). Well, John saw nothing and he believed, because John was looking beyond the fleshly veil. John looked through the eyes of faith, and the eyes of faith are able to see the invisible.
The enemy armies of Aram surrounded the city of Dothan; the servant of Elisha saw them, and he was panic-stricken. What he saw was real and true. The city was surrounded by the enemy, but the servant was only looking in the natural. But Elisha prayed that the Lord would enable his servant to see through the eyes of faith and when he did, “He saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17). God gave Elisha’s servant the eyes of faith—an act very similar to Jesus healing a blind man, and he learned the absolute truth of Elisha’s words: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
Only when we are looking through the eyes of faith do we begin to see all that God is doing in our lives. God has surrounded you with legions of angels led by the Lion from the tribe of Judah and has promised to protect and provide for your every need. Fear not what you may be seeing through your physical eyes, for they see only a tiny portion of what is actually going on around you. Ask God to open your eyes of faith, and you will begin seeing God’s hand in everything that is happening in your life. At that level of living, seeing nothing is indeed something!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN