Mark 16:14-18; Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
The great commission, that is what the above verses are referenced as. This morning, I’d like to focus on the first part where Jesus rebuked the eleven disciples post resurrection, for their unbelief and hardness of heart. Some translations say, “lack of faith” because they refused to believe those who had already seen Him. Think about this if you will; These 11 men had seen Jesus raise several people from the dead, open blind eyes, deaf ears, lame walk, yet they would not believe that Jesus was alive even though He told them He would rise after 3 days.
It seems to be so common even today, “If I don’t see it for myself, I’m not going to believe it.” I’ve even heard some say, “That whole ‘miracle’ service was rigged. They pay people to do that!” It would be super sad if it was only non-Christians who say this, but I’ve actually had Christians say it to me. WOW! And we wonder why our churches are powerless to operate as Christ commissioned us to. It’s hardness of heart and lack of faith. We no longer believe in God and His ability to stand behind His Word. If we did, we would actually be doing instead of being onlookers.
Father, I repent for hardheartedness and unbelief. You are able to do through me the same things You did through Jesus. Your Word is as alive and powerful as it was back then because Your Word never loses it’s power. I will keep my eyes open and my ears open to You. When You point out a need, I will do what I’ve been commissioned to do. Use my hands. Use my lips. Use me to speak life, love and fill me with Your compassion. It’s all for Your glory so that others may know You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen