Saturday: 7th April, 2018
Reference text: Mark 16:9-15
Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
The decision to choose to believe what others tell you can be left to a matter of one’s own predisposition. Thus, you can opt to believe or not to believe what you hear from others with no recourse to offer any explanation whatsoever. Yet, despite this generally accepted norm, Jesus appears to tow a different line and rebuked the disciples for their unbelief even after two rounds of witness accounts.
We could say that those disciples were only being cautious to not get caught in a web of lies, and giving that they were still mourning and weeping, that seems a reasonable enough excuse. But the flip side is this: they had journeyed with Jesus and believed all the works he had done. Hence in that light, they were fit to be classified as ‘believers’. Therefore, Jesus’ rebuke is justifiably directed at them because they had failed to do the one thing ‘believers’ are supposed to do- ‘TO BELIEVE’.
This may have seemed like a big deal but from Jesus’ reaction, it was. Comparable to a creature forgetting the very fundamental principles needed for its existence like a fish that forgets to swim or an eagle forgetting to fly. A believer who does not believe misses out on this very basic tenet of discipleship: believing. ‘How do you tell others about the message if you yourself do not believe’ could have been the question Jesus asked His disciples before giving them instructions to go spread the word.
My dear, the strongest witnesses of any message are not the super educated or the most well trained orators, they are those people who have had a personal encounter with the message they carry. The passion in their delivery and the content of their whole message has a different feel to it. Those are the kind of witnesses God is on the look out for. In our eyes, ‘I believe’ may be no big deal, but when said from a sincere heart, it really prepares us for the task of witnessing.
Remember # effective witnessing must be preceded by genuine belief in the Good news.