Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
The most powerful words in this verse to me are: he rebuked them, they had, lack of faith and their stubborn refusal.
He didn’t just say you should have believed. He “rebuked,” meaning he expressed sharp disapproval because of their behavior. They lacked the faith that what they were told, by Christ, was actually coming to pass. They didn’t just refuse to believe they were stubborn about it. I equate that to a child who is told to do something but refuses and stomps his foot and says, NO!
How stubborn are you? How difficult is it for you to believe God is calling you to something? Do you lack the faith it takes to make the steps needed to follow God’s prompting?
What I don’t enjoy admitting is I sometimes do lack the faith and I can be stubborn. I lack the faith that what I am being told is something God is telling me because in the past I did do as I was being led and it still didn’t work out. Now, that makes me question if he is actually talking to me or not.
I am getting better in that area. But it has been a long road. God has told me that I did all that was asked of me but ultimately it was man’s decision not to do what he was told, which made it not my lack of faith. That went a long way in helping me to make myself vulnerable again. It may be a wrong word to say vulnerable because we are never vulnerable when we believe God is leading us but it makes me vulnerable to “man’s” choices.
We are the only one responsible to God for our individual actions. The disciples were responsible for not believing. They were told and as men they made their own decision on it. Yet even as they were rebuked they were forgiven be they were told to go and spread the word. Amazing that there is so much forgiveness from one who was brutally beaten, crucified and doubted and still that same forgiveness is given today for our sins and doubts.
How do you spread the word? What can you do now to bring more action into your faith?
Lord, your forgiveness is barely understandable to us yet you give it freely. Help us to give it freely. Help us to put action into our faith in you. Amen