Astonishing the great difficulty the disciples had, believing who Jesus said He was, almost to the very end of His life. One would think, having seen so many miracles performed by Him, and not to believe He was God incarnated, seemed strange. Lately, we have preformed an intense autopsy on the final accounts of His life, and His disciples. With more questions posed than answered, that longed for unquenchable truth, for those who diligently sought them. Sometimes we wonder why unbelievers remain un-phased, after a well preached gospel invitation, or a thorough presentation of the gospel. We know through our unyielding search of the Scriptures, some are going to accept the message, while others are going to reject it. Amazing was the disciple’s respond to the Teacher’s words, deeds, and His personal appeals, for them to accept Him, as God the Father. Think you’ll been different?
We supposed if we had been there it would have been no question that we would have followed Jesus to the ends of the earth. Easier said than done because these men had eye witnesses to the dead raised, blind sighted, lame healed, lepers cleansed, thousands feed from next to nothing, and countless miraculous events never preformed by any human, yet they failed to believe. There’s a TV program, “What would you do?” which challenges people to act during an incident of crisis.
I’ve heard a preacher say, “It’s easier to die for Christ than to live for Him,” it’s proven all to true for me, what about you? Sometimes I’m too critical of the disciples because I’ve got the finished product and their living it out in real time.
A case in point, I’m studying the account of Judas’ betrayal along with the Thurs-day night group, and I come to this portion of Scripture that’s not in our text of study, but I’m one to go the extra mile for the sake of clarity for whatever reason.
Allow me to paraphrase the scene in Jn.13:18-20, “It was during the last supper when Jesus announced that one of His disciples would betray Him. Then He threw an interesting clause in the mist, and said, I speak not of you all I know whom I have chosen,” but here’s the kicker, “Now I tell you this before it come to pass that when it come to pass, ye may believe that I am he…and he that sent me,” which I found to be somewhat odd. It almost appears as though it’s His last appeal to them to believe Him, and God who sent Him, as though the miracles weren’t sufficient. In compari-son, this almost seems minimal to all the others. To put it in perspective, He’s within days of being placed on the cross. Also He wants the assurance they can continue on His ministry after His death. Consequently, He made a final appeal to their faith.
On the other hand, faith can be a subjective thing. You may have experienced this, when things are going great in your life then your faith is on the mountain top, but when things has taken a turn for the worst, your faith is as low as a valley slope.
Yes, we believe we have all faith that can move mountains, but when the storms of life hit, we wonder where Jesus was when we needed Him. Look I believe this part of Scripture was placed here so that we could see the difficulty in believing. Take it from this writer, I’m tossed and turned by every wind of doctrine that sounds good.
I’m sure you heard some say, “If it sounds tight, it must be right.” Or if the pastor says it, who am I not to believe it, after all he’s got more credentials than I have. After all, Jesus encourages us when He say, “Blessed are those who believe and do not see,” so move over Thomas, you’re not alone; you have a host of company.