YLT - 17 And having seen him, they bowed to him, but some did waver.
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Without using scripture, Joyce. We are carnal-minded as humans and the best example I can give to you for the doubt of the disciples would be this: It's Sunday and you have just attended a powerful, spirit filled message at church, you get into your car and get ready to pull out and head home, suddenly a person cuts you off, nearly side-swiping your car, and in an instant you become angry. And in that instant you have forgotten the entire sermon. But as you drive you compose yourself and acknowledge God for saving you from a near collision. We forget very quickly about spiritual things of Heaven, but Christ never did. If you will notice there are many scriptural reference pertaining to the quickness of life or end of life, or the coming of our Savior, and each one followed up by a common denominator: steadfastness. Remember, even after his disciples witnessed the feeding of the fishes and loaves they doubted Christ's ability to save them at sea.
My guess is they had all witnessed the brutal crucifixion, the centurion thrusting the spear into Christ's body. And the blood and water flowing out of His side. Keep in mind that when one is speared in the side, the spear penetrates one lung, then the heart and then the other lung. Could anyone ever survive this? No. Then they saw his dead body being carried off and being buried. For three days nothing happened, then all of a sudden, there was Jesus standing in front of them. If you recall, every time Jesus mentioned to His disciples in Luke 18:32-34 that "He will be handed over to the Romans, and he will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit upon.They will flog him with a whip and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again,” they were thinking to themselves, "There He goes again not making any sense whatsoever" as proved in verse 34: "But they didn’t understand any of this. The significance of his words was hidden from them, and they failed to grasp what he was talking about." For some reason "the significance of His words was hidden from them." My favorite bible commentator, David Guzik had this to say about that: "Perhaps God did not open their eyes to this truth because they couldn’t handle it yet. If they really knew what would happen to Jesus, and how different it would be than their own conceptions of riding the coattails of the Messiah to glory, they might have given up right then and there." I find it rather comforting to find that the disciples were as confused and confounded about spiritual things as I am sometimes.
When you doubted, yet still obey to go and worship Jesus, isn't that more precious than just someone who did not even doubt at all? Some just didn't have the capacity to think through and doubted. There are many who will tell you they are very simple, they just believe. That's great and precious. But its just because they are made that way. Its a gift from above to be simple. But here, the gospel recorded real-life facts that resonate with many of us today: Doubt and yet they obeyed - to go to the mountain to meet the LORD. At the end of the day, we need God to help us believe. Lev 20:7-8 7 Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 Keep my statutes and do them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you. The call to CONSECRATE ourselves was given. It's a command. Men need to respond - men's part. When men respond, then GOD will sanctify us. Sanctify - God's part. If the disciples just remained in their doubt, and did not respond to the call to go to the hill to meet Jesus, they would not have progressed. Jesus could have met them anywhere. Why did He instructed them to go to that mountain, and then give them the Great Commission? Could He not just give it to them at the Upper Room or anywhere else when He met them? Because they MUST respond to His command. Their obedience is to improve them - a process of sanctification. When they did, they started to progress. This question was running within when I was writing this reply. I hope to be corrected on this too.
Faith is a gift from God, given in different measure to each Christian, but sufficient for each of us to accomplish God’s plan and purpose for our lives. Each of us may have a weak faith or a strong faith depending on how we have responded to Jesus teaching. When we are skeptics our faith becomes weak. When we are trusting and obeying our faith becomes strong. When Mary Magdalene first saw the resurrected Jesus she thought he was the gardener. Then He spoke to her and she knew it was him. Peter and John ran to the tomb to confirm her story. Peter doubted, maybe someone stole the body, but John believed because he remembered Jesus' words that after 3 days he would rise again. Thomas missed the first meeting with the risen Jesus and declared he would not believe unless he could touch Jesus' hands and side. Jesus came again and gave Thomas the proof he needed and he believed. In Acts 1:1-3 we read “ In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” Jesus spent 40 days bolstering his disciples' faith for their mission ahead to build his kingdom in earth. Jesus' goal is to bring all Christians to the unity of our faith, mature and complete for the work of his kingdom as explained in Ephesians 4:11-16: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Faith comes from hearing the word of God. The disciples heard Jesus speak face to face. We hear Jesus speak every time we open the bible and begin to read. If we doubt this is true, our faith will become weak. If we believe this is true, our faith will grow strong.
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