Between his thumb and forefinger, the man held one card on the corner and turned it face up. A jack of spades. He flipped it over, and back. The card was now a ten of diamonds. I’m only twelve inches away, watching carefully as he does it again. I can’t see how he made the switch, but I know it has to be a trick.
Seeing is not always believing. If I’m convinced that what I’m seeing isn’t real, I may be entertained and amazed, but no amount of seeing would make me believe. I never thought the man had the power to change the identity of the card by flipping it back and forth.
After the resurrection, the disciples saw Jesus, but they didn’t believe he was real (Luke 24:36–43). They thought they were seeing a ghost. Too many people had seen him lifeless on the cross. They’d buried him. So if he appeared to be alive, it had to be a trick.
He showed them his scars, but they still weren’t sure, not until after he sat and ate with them. Since ghosts don’t eat food, they’d finally seen enough to believe.
People saw Jesus do many miracles. Some believed, but many didn’t (John 12:37). In his story of the rich man and the beggar (Luke 16:19–31), he said people who hadn’t believed Moses and the prophets wouldn’t believe someone who rose from the dead.
The apostle Paul said unbelievers have no excuse since God’s existence is evident to everyone by just seeing his creation (Romans 1:20).
Seeing or not seeing, we do well to believe God, because his work is no magic trick.