Qualified to be His witnesses of the good news of the Gospel

Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women went together to anoint the body of Jesus with spices soon after the Sabbath ended. On not finding the body, and being visited by angels who told them that Jesus had risen and gave them a message to give to Jesus’ disciples, they hurried back to the disciples who, on hearing their words believed them not, vs 1-11!

However, Peter ran to the tomb only to find the body of Jesus missing, just like the women said, vs 12. He wondered what this could mean, but did nothing more than simply return home! It was only Mary who returned back to the tomb, being unable to forget about the missing body, who, therefore, subsequently received a revelation of the risen Lord, John 20:14-16.

Similarly, those on the way to Emmaus, also had Him walk with them and heared His voice speaking to them too, yet though their hearts burned, they failed to recognise Him! It was only when they persisted that He come and spend the night with them that they got a revelation of who He was, when He broke bread with them, vs 13-32.

This filled them with such enthusiasm, that it made them go back that very hour to tell the disciples what they had witnessed! However, sad to say, their witness to the disciples was also received with disbelief, vs 33-35, Mark 16:13! It was after these incidents that Jesus Himself appeared to them and gave them His peace, vs 36, and rebuked them for their unbelief and showed them that He had indeed risen with valid proof of the same, vs 37-44.

He then opened their minds that they might understand the Scriptures, vs 45, and He made them understand how He had to suffer, and rise from the dead on the third day, so that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all Nations, beginning at Jerusalem, vs 46,47, of which things they were witnesses, vs 48!

Is it, therefore, possible for us to hear His voice, but not receive a revelation of what His resurrection implies? Could this be the reason then, as to why we lack joy and power and are, therefore, unqualified to be His witnesses of the good news of the Gospel? Do we realise that the revelation of His resurrection can only come as we diligently seek Him for the same, being unsatisfied to receive it by mere hearsay from any angelic or human source?

He then exhorted them to wait in the city of Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on high, just as the Father had promised, vs 49, and leading them out as far as Bethany, He lifted up His hands, and blessed them, before being taken upto heaven, vs 50,51.

Their hearts being now laid to rest on seeing the risen Lord for themselves, they worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, vs 52, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God, vs 53. Thus we see that a huge difference is made in our lives when we meet with the risen Jesus for ourselves, and allow Him to open our minds to understand the Scriptures and give us a revelation of His resurrection and the implications of the same on our lives.

And, if we have truly received this revelation, then, just like Mary and the disciples, we will be freed from fear and filled with joy at the expectation of what this could mean for us in the days ahead, both in our personal lives and ministry too. Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.