Lesson 13 -- first quarter 2001
February 25, 2001
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications
Helping others believe
Jesus wanted His disciples to believe in His resurrection as well as in Him. So He appeared to Peter. And He broke bread with the two bound for Emmaus. He abruptly appeared among them while they told each other about these two events. He showed them His hands and feet. Then He ate in front of them. And all this because He wanted them to believe.
What are you willing to do to help others believe? Berating and condemning folks for not believing rarely works, at least for us; belittling their unbelief works no better. What most people need more of is encouragement to believe. And I believe the best way to do that is by showing them why they should believe. That's what Jesus did in today's lesson.
He showed them they should believe because He could suddenly be among them and know their thoughts. He showed them they should believe He was Jesus because He had the nail prints in His hands and feet. He showed them they should believe He wasn't some spiritual apparition because He had flesh and bones and could eat food they gave Him. See? He showed them why they should believe. (How gracious and patient and understanding of Him!)
So, again, what are we willing to do to help others believe?
Forgive. When unbelievers see the forgiving hearts of God's people, they see a reason to believe in Jesus. This life of forgiveness is impressive enough when expressed in the presence of wrongs by non-Christians. But when the wrongs are suffered from fellow Christians and we still forgive, that proof of Jesus in us becomes quite compelling. If people would believe in Jesus according to the level of forgiveness in my life, would they find it easy to believe?
I'll skip the other ways we can help folks believe. What are some of them?
How well do you remember His words?
Those first disciples certainly had a hard time remembering, didn't they now? My, my! You would think that anyone could remember something so outstanding and unusual as your Master predicting His own death and resurrection. Makes you wonder whatever ailed those fellows, right?
Those fellows, indeed! I suspect we would have done as poorly as they did in those circumstances. After all, it seems we forget quite easily in our own circumstances. In this area (perhaps in most of life's areas), we make much better defendants than judges. Consider just a few of His words....
"By love serve one another" (Galatians 5:13).
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" (Romans 14:19).
"Think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted" (Ephesians 4:32).
"Do all things without murmurings and disputings" (Philippians 2:14).
"In every thing give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
"Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Before we rise in self-satisfied judgment of the first disciples, let us honestly consider our own lives this very day. Have we remembered His words just as well as we think they should have remembered?
May we be consumed with the burning dedication to live His words daily so those about us know we have been with Jesus . . . and want to be with Him also!
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