And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
These were those who had walked with Jesus. These were those who had been by His side as he traveled around ministering and preaching and meeting needs everywhere He went. These were those who Jesus had pulled aside and with whom He shared deeper spiritual truths, those He told of His impending death and resurrection. These were those who had witnessed countless miracles and seen Jesus do the impossible. And yet they believe not the eyewitness testimony of those who have seen Jesus alive, risen from the dead.
If those who walked closest to Jesus could doubt Him and His words, then we should not be surprised when someone who has never even gone to church would scoff at the idea of Jesus rising from the dead. We shouldn’t be surprised that unbelievers could doubt the Word of God when we ourselves have sometimes questioned Him. Instead, we should be patient and careful in presenting the truth to them and allowing God time to work in their hearts and give them wisdom and understanding.
Are we guilty of this kind of unbelief, too? Even as followers of Christ, do we sometimes doubt what He has said to us? Do we refuse to accept the testimony of others that God is alive and working among us? Are we clinging to an unbelief instead of trusting in His Word? Let’s not let unbelief reign in our lives, but instead look back on what God has already done to encourage us that He will be faithful to His Word today and in the future.
With hearts full of confusion and disappointment, the disciples couldn’t fathom the reality of Jesus being alive. But everything had come to pass just as He had said. Eventually they would look back and connect all the dots. They would remember what He had said to them Himself, and they would see the truth of Jesus in all the Scriptures, as well. How that must have strengthened their belief in Him and fortified their faith in His words. And we, too, can look back over His completed Word and see how what He has said has come to pass. We have the assurance that His Word is truth and we can believe what He says.