Posted by: springsinthedesert | April 14, 2010

An Encouraging Encounter

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.

           Mark 16:14

How often do we come across people who are reluctant to believe the Jesus we preach? They say that our experiences with Him is just infatuations or coincidences that we relate to divine interventions. It is really difficult to testify the love of God to them until and unless, Holy Spirit works in them and opens their heart towards Jesus.

While reading the book of Mark chapter 16, I came across a group of people who did not believe that Jesus was risen. Now, these are not people who did not have a relationship with Jesus. They are His beloved companions; the disciples…who walked with Him and was part of His ministry. Jesus himself had taught them about his death, crucifixion and resurrection. They were called to do His ministry after Jesus’ death. Still they did not believe that Jesus has risen. Jesus, after His resurrection first appeared to Mary Magdalene and asked her to tell the Good News to the disciples. But they did not believe her when she said that He was risen.(Mark 16:11). Later, Jesus appeared to the two men, on their way to Emmaus. When they returned and told the disciples that they had seen the risen Jesus, they did not believe them either(Mark 16:12).

How couldn’t they believe their testimonies? How could they neglect the fact that Jesus would rise again? Didn’t He teach them? Their knowledge about resurrection was not enough to convince their faith. We see that in our lives too, isn’t it? Mere knowledge about Jesus would not help us in our faith in Him…We need to have personal relationship, individual experience with our Lord to know Him more. Till His death, Mary Magdalene knew Jesus as her savior, her healer..but after that encounter with the risen Jesus, she knew Him more…Now she knows Him as a promise keeper, a resurrected God, the one who offers redemption through the cross. Today, what more do you know about Jesus? Do you learn more about Jesus in your everyday encounter with Him?

The disciples did not believe the other witnesses until He himself appeared to them.  They were all gathered in an upper room, scared of the Jews, uncertain about their future. Jesus appeared to them and said “Peace be with you”. He knew very well what they lacked. And the next thing He did was to rebuke their unbelief and hardness of heart. Jesus knew that with this fear, unbelief and hardness of heart, they could never be used for His purpose for which they are called for. So He addressed their emotional need at first before giving them the commands to do next. Till then, they did not believe even the things they knew before about His resurrection…Till then, they were confined to a room, fearful and not willing to work for Christ. But as soon as He rebuked their fear and unbelief and strengthened them in their faith, they went out in boldness and preached the Good News everywhere.(Mark 16:20)

Today, what is that hinders you from doing what God has called you for? Fear about the world? Worries about your future? Disbelief in God’s promises? Scared about the circumstances you will be placed for Christ? He knows what is going through your mind. Just a personal encounter with Him will strengthen you. With the God-given authority,  rebuke everything that is preventing you from doing God’s purpose. Till then, you will be confined to your limitations…to your place, to your comfort zones…Once you are strengthened by Jesus and the step of faith is boldly taken to rebuke Satan and his lies, you will be equipped to go out into the world…to boldly confess your faith..to do His work. Not only that, you will see the fruits of your labor….signs from above which confirms God’s word working through you. Amen (Mark 16:20

God Bless,

Rani John

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Responses

  1. Dear Rani . .. great understanding of our need to have that personal relationship in order to know Him more. And then be able to be strengthened by Him to do what He asks. Thank you for feeding my faith today! Deb

    • Deb,

      Personal relationship with God alone can give us the strength for the next step..His encounter helps us rebuke the negativeites of our lives…With all those negatives we are confined to four walls of our mind…not open to the world…His presence alone can change our limitations…

      God Bless,
      Rani

  2. I absolutely love the fact that Jesus didn’t choose disciples who would always get it right, because we don’t always get it right either. He has given us examples of how flawed men and women can be used for His purpose when we put our whole faith and trust in Him. Peace, Linda

    • Linda,

      We are not perfect and I’m glad that He showed us an example through His disciples…All those weak men and women did amazing things with God on their side…and with Christ, all things are possible through us. Thank you for stopping by Linda.

      God Bless,
      Rani

  3. Hi Rani
    Very good post, I find that I must constantly feed on the word, must constantly feed frequently on God centered things to my soul, and I stay on the path. If I start feeding on worldly things, material centered things, flesly things, then that is what I will reap. I have maintained that a close personal relationship with The Lord will not happen by accident. God Bless,
    Jim

    • Thank you Jim…I think this is something that we need to examine and re-examine in our lives…because its always easy for us to drift away from Him..not feeding on His word and not spending time with Him is more than enough to take our attention from Him..As you said, it never happens by accident..its a choice.

      God Bless,
      Rani


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