Throughout Jesus' ministry on earth He presented himself to people, performed miracles in God's name, opened the scriptures up to them and yet people still did not believe.
Reference: v.20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. (NIV Bible)
Explore: When Jesus rose from the dead he presented himself to his disciples. It just so happened that the first time he met with them as a group Thomas was not around. When the other disciples told Thomas of the miracle of Jesus rising from the dead, he didn't believe them and said that unless he touched the nail marks in Jesus' hands he would not believe (John 20.24-29). We shake our heads at Thomas, sigh and say, "Oh, doubting Thomas." And yet we have to cut him some slack. When Jesus did appear to him Thomas proclaimed Jesus as his Lord and his God. And yet throughout Jesus' ministry on earth He presented himself to people, performed miracles in God's name, opened the scriptures up to them and yet people still did not believe.
It's like when you are teaching someone how to play a particular card game and you show them how to play by starting off with an open-handed round. This is where everyone lays their cards on the table and all can see how good – or bad – your hand is. When Jesus visited cities to teach the people and perform miracles it was like He placed his cards on the table and he was holding all the best cards. And yet, people didn't believe this could be possible and so they played the game as if they had all the good cards instead. Even when Jesus was standing before them, they still did not believe.
Application: When we are witnessing to people and telling them how amazing God is, it can often get frustrating when they don't believe or when they ask for tangible proof. We need to be patient and remember that even when people saw Jesus' miracles, heard his teaching first hand and witnessed his compassion, they still did not believe. Jesus understood how hard it would be to believe in Him for those who did not see Him (John 20.29) However He never gave up on spreading the grace, love and power of God. And so we must continue our purpose in making disciples too. They may betray us, not believe in us and turn from us in our time of need but we continue to live for God, believing that Jesus is the Son of God and His example is the best one to follow.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to be an example for how we should live. May we have the courage and perseverance to continue Your work here on earth. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.