12 June, 2021

Jesus, As He Really Is

by | 5 April, 2021 | 0 comments

By Randy Ballinger

“But [Thomas] said to them, ‘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 it’” (John 20:25).

Thomas could not believe Jesus was alive after being crucified—it simply was too much to ask. The reports of a few people saying they had seen Jesus was insufficient proof. Only after seeing the living and breathing Jesus of Nazareth with his own eyes would Thomas be willing to believe.

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 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 20:26-27).

Finally, with his own eyes, Thomas saw the marks of the nails in Jesus’ hands and the wound in his side. With his own ears, he heard words of encouragement from his Master.

Thomas’s response was a declaration of worship: “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28).

Today, we don’t have the advantage of seeing Jesus’ resurrected body. But that’s OK, because Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29). We are blessed today because we trust the testimony of the hundreds of people who did see Jesus alive after his death.

John was among those who saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion and resurrection. Decades later, when he was anticipating Jesus’ second coming, John wrote, “We will be like him, for we will see him as he really is” (1 John 3:2, New Living Translation; author’s emphasis).

No, we don’t see Jesus today, but we will one day. And when you do see Jesus face-to-face, “as he really is,” what will be your declaration of worship?

Will you be in awe of his power and authority and cry out as did Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”?

Will you express gratitude for his grace and proclaim him, “My Savior and my Redeemer!”?

Will you reveal your relationship with him and identify him as “my Friend and my Companion!”?

Will you simply be left speechless in the presence of Jesus?

The apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians that “whenever you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

As we gather around the table, we not only commemorate, we also anticipate!

Randy Ballinger lives with his wife, Gina Ann, near New Paris, Ohio, and serves as an elder with the Centerville (Indiana) Christian Church.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.

Welshimer’s Advice to a Bible College Student (Circa 1931)

“Plan your work, then work your plan. Go according to schedule so far as possible. Most people are as lazy as the circumstances will permit. If you will lay out a given amount of work to do each day, you will whip yourself into line to do it.”

Stadia, MOHI Partnering to Plant Churches, Reach Kids (Plus News Briefs)

Stadia Church Planting and Missions of Hope International have announced a partnership and goal of planting 100 churches, building 100 schools, and sponsoring 100,000 children by 2030. PLUS NEWS BRIEFS . . . including a free retreat for ministers at Great Lakes Christian College.

Follow Us