Saturday, July 29, 2006

He worked by their side

He worked by their side

“After the Lord Jesus had talked with them, he was taken up to heaven and sat at the right hand of God.  The disciples went and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and proved that their preaching was true by the miracles that were performed.”  (Mark 16: 19 – 20)

Jesus went up to heaven after he completed the work his Father gave him.  Before he did so, he commissioned his disciples to carry out the work the Father entrusted to them through Jesus.  The great commission continues to this day.  

I too believe that I have been called to serve in the Kingdom by the side of Jesus.  I feel deeply encouraged to know that the Lord is working by my side.  Even as a disciple,  Jesus is there working by my side.  The scripture today says that Christ proved that the work of the disciples was true by the miracles they performed.  What can b e the proof right here and right now that Christ is working by my side and that all that I am doing is true, that is, of Christ?  “By their fruits you shall know them.”

Sunday, July 23, 2006

He Scolded Them

He Scolded Them

“Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating.  He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen me alive.  He said to them, ‘Go throughout the whole world and preach the Gospel to all mankind.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.  Believers will be given the power to perform miracles:  they will drive out demons in my name; they will speak in strange tongues; if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed; they will place their hands on sick people, who will get well.”  (Mark 16: 14 – 18)

Jesus did not scold his disciples for deserting him during his passion.  Peter was not rebuked for denying him during his trial.  But he scolded them for not believing those who witnessed to his resurrection.  Unbelief could be hardness of heart.  “O that we may hear his voice today and not harden our hearts. “ Faith gives us access to all God’s promises.  Unbelief locks the door to God’s blessings.

Note that after scolding them, Jesus commissioned the same unbelieving disciples to “preach to all mankind.”  Very interesting.  He did not say:  “You have failed the final test.  Now let me start afresh and recruit men who are capable of faith and the work of the kingdom  which all depends on faith. “  Is this an instance of divine realism?

One other thing to note in the above scripture is that Jesus appeared only to his disciples after he rose from the dead.   He did not show himself to everybody.  Today like then, only those who believe in him “see” him.  To all his disciples, he gives power.  Power to overcome the world.  Power to preach the gospel.  For Jesus, the work of building the Kingdom of God is always a priority.