An ancient story from India has been told in different ways about blind observers who told what an elephant was like—such as a snake, a wall, a tree trunk, a spear—each depending on which part was touched. The lesson here is that partial information can lead to wrong conclusions.
If we look at a single verse about John entering the empty tomb, we read this in the King James version: Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed (John 20:8). If we stop there, we might think he believed what the angel had said to the women, that Jesus had risen from the dead. If we think that, we would be wrong for a couple of reasons.
- The next verse says John didn’t understand the scripture that said Jesus must rise from the dead.
- Later, John was with the disciples, Thomas being the only one absent. When Jesus appeared in their midst, they didn’t believe they were seeing him in the flesh—not until he ate in front of them (Luke 24:42).
Thomas is often mislabeled as a doubter, but at least he believed as soon as he saw Jesus. The other disciples were the greater doubters, because they didn’t believe until after Jesus ate fish in front of them.
The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus was seen by over 500 people at one time, and most of them were still alive (1 Corinthians 15:6). That many eyewitnesses could not possibly be wrong.