Daily Readings & Thought for February 19th. “ … THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THEM”
Today we completed reading the Gospel of Mark. God has seen to it that four records of the life on earth of his Son have been written and preserved so that, together, they provide a detailed picture of what his Son taught and the wonderful events that occurred, events which challenged all who witnessed them and heard him. They needed to show from their hearts what these events really meant to them.
The end of Mark’s gospel shows that only those to whom Jesus personally appeared believed that he had risen. We read how some “went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.” [v.13] Paul testifies that, after appearing to the twelve, he later appeared to “more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep” [1 Cor. 15 v. 6] The evidence became overwhelming for most – we wonder how the Chief Priests and Pharisees reacted to what they heard! The whole of the events that followed, including some of the records in secular history from the first and second centuries makes no sense if Christ was not raised.
Faith became a keyword among the early believers – the need for faith was an integral part of the wisdom of God and today it applies as much as ever. Belief in God as the great Creator is an outcome of true faith. Paul significantly wrote “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” [Rom. 8 v.28] Has God a purpose for you? Do you sense this? God expects to use those who genuinely believe – in his service – in a whole range of different capacities.
We look around us and upward and the faith in our hearts tells us, as it told David that ”The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” [Psa. 19] Our Master declared, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [John 20 v.19]
The familiar chapter 11 in Hebrews starts, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Do we fully have that conviction? Our convictions will be tested when this world starts, as prophesied, to really fall apart. Let us recall what Jesus said to his disciple Thomas, ”Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [John 20 v.29] May we all be blessed.
May our lives, our actions, increasingly show that we believe – with ALL our heart.