The Big Five


Reading: John 20:19-31

Thomas needed more than just word of mouth to convince him that Jesus was alive again.  He figured that an accumulation of sensory information would suddenly make it possible for someone who was crucified to come back to life.  Unless I see, unless I touch, I will never believe. 

Do you leave the Bible reading feeling “blessed,” blessed that you have not seen and yet believe?  Or do you think, quietly and secretly, I understand Thomas and would very much like these eyes and fingers to be my means of belief.  Show me Jesus.

God doesn’t despise our senses.  Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching were all designed by him for good.  God doesn’t just throw them out now with the resurrection of Jesus as if now we are some kind of spiritual, senses-hating people.  God still asks us to love him with our heart and our minds and our strength.  Engaging our minds, using our senses, activating our bodies is part of our love of God.

God wants you to use your senses, in fact God plans for us to do so.  We are called to greet each other with the holy kiss (Romans 16:16,1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26).  We still practice this in the sharing of the peace, touch makes flesh our extended family in God.  This is a challenge of our digital age where we can isolate ourselves.  Touch was important to God but if it becomes the only means to our faith then we limit ourselves to the narrow area around us, we are limited to things we can grasp and handle and our world becomes very small.  Touch is important in caring for others, sharing a hug, or holding praying hands.

God wants us to see him.  This is the reason Christ returned to be with His Father in heaven so that Jesus would work and act through us.  Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

God wants us to hear him.  The reading of the Word of God on Sunday is more than just a habit, it is God speaking to us through His living and active Word.  Hearing is an essential part of belief, just like touching and seeing.  It is a lesson for parents who dare think that a command alone without a model will change our children.  God knows that engaging our senses on as many different levels reaches our hearts.  Romans 10:17 says,   “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

God wants us to taste him.  Taste and see that the Lord is good, goes much further than a word picture.  Jesus gives us His body and says, “take and eat” and his blood, “take and drink.”  This is very much in your face, it is so intense that his command causes people to turn away.  Jesus gives His body and blood in, with and under bread and wine.  God knows how important it is to taste as part of our faith.  A piece of bread, a sip of wine and another sense has been used in our faith life.

God wants us to smell.  That phrase in itself appears humorous but for those of you how have been able to come to an Advent or Lent midweek service I think you know how this sense is engaged as a symbol of our prayers.  Do you even smell it now?  It is a strong memory.

Thank you God for all our senses.


One response to this post.

  1. Hearing is a great way to engage in God’s Word. Great post! You and your readers can download an Audio New Testament at in any of 15 English versions or 280-plus other versions. Give it a try! Research shows that people learn twice as much by hearing as they do by reading alone.


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