Some people say that if they could see they would believe. But seeing is not believing, seeing is only seeing. Scripture says Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). It also says Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him (1 Peter 1:8). It is true that Jesus says to Thomas, You believe in me Thomas becuase you have seen me, but blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Yet as both St. Gregory (Homilia26) and St. Thomas Aquinas (II, IIae 1.4) point out, Thomas saw one thing and believed another. He saw the man which required no faith, but confessed Jesus to be Lord and God which required faith and cannot be “seen.” So again, as Scripture says, We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)
And yet many people often say, if only I could have been alive and have seen Jesus workmiracles, I would believe more. Maybe, maybe not, because seeing is only seeing. Seeing even impossible things doesn’t necessarily make a person believe. Consider the video just below. What you will see in it will look impossible. And yet it is happening before your very eyes. I have been to live magic shows and seen the same thing. People seem to vanish into thin air or instantly change appearance. Is it a miracle or just some fancy illusion? Most people, even upon seeing what looks like it can only be a miracle, usually conclude that it is a trick or that there is “some way they do that.”
Now remove these magicians in the video and go with me back in time as Jesus works a miracle. Presume for a moment that you’ve never met Jesus or heard of him. Yet watch him cast out blindness or enable a paralyzed man to walk. Is it a miracle, or is it a clever trick? Should you really believe his claims to be from God and to be God based on these wonderful works? Has Jesus staged this well or is he really the Son of God? You see? It still takes faith doesn’t it? Simply seeing miracles isn’t enough. You just can’t substitute for faith, it is an absolute requirement to accept who Jesus is. Miracles can help but seeing is not believing, it’s only seeing. In the end you have to decide: fancy trick or real miracle? Son of God or just a skilled illusionist?
Remember too, Jesus did not work miracles to “cause” faith but to confirm it. When faith was lacking Jesus did not work miracles. For example it is said of him when he was in Nazareth, He could work no miracles there except to cure a few sick, so much did their lack of faith disturb him. (Mk 6:5). Further, Jesus would often inquire of a person’s faith or draw it out before working a miracle (eg. Mat 9:28; Jn 11:26; Mat 15:27; Matt 8:10; inter al.) In the end miracles are not the cause of faith, they are the result of it. Likewise, seeing is not the cause of faith but does result from it to some extent. We see many things by faith.
Watch this video and see what look like realmiracles before your very eyes. But pay attention to what your mind does and how quickly you can dismiss the visual evidence. You do not conclude that these people are gods because of what they do. Seeing even fantastic things just isn’t enough. In this case they likely are not miracles, just very well done illusions. But many saw Jesus work wonders which really were miracles and it was not enough. In the end you have to have faith. In other words, some people think if only God would work miracles in their life, they could believe. But miracles alone cannot bring faith because seeing is not believing it is only seeing.
Cumulative evidence can bring us to accept God’s existence as a reasonable proposition but only faith can really lead us to believe all that God has said. Pray for the gift of faith and you will see miracles, and more!