Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Salvation and Stilettos Blog

Unbelief? OK. God Will Use You Anyway...

Have you ever wondered why the Lord continues to call you seemingly in spite of your personal history?  Have you ever wondered why you still have any kind of divine assignment in the Kingdom given your recent attitude, challenges, or shortcomings?  Have you ever wondered why the Lord keeps sending you out when you would have made it clear in so many ways and words that you would rather not go right now?

Friends, I think we have all had these kinds of thoughts at some point.  These thoughts are often triggered by events, conversations, or convictions that push us to wrestle with what it means to be human and a servant of the Most High.  Clearly, God must know that we are not perfect.  We do not always say the right things or do the right things.  Yet, for some reason, WE are still included in God's purpose and plan for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I think we see a glimpse of this in our verses for today.

Finally he appeared to the eleven while they were eating. Jesus criticized their unbelief and stubbornness because they didn’t believe those who saw him after he was raised up. 15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to every creature." [Mark 16:14-15]

Now, let us be honest.  There are a few of us or maybe most of us reading today's post would have held the same unbelief as the disciples in the Gospel of Mark.  The disciples had walked and talked with Jesus, listened and learned from Jesus, ate and slept near Jesus and they still did not believe the witness of those who told them what Jesus had already told them would happen regarding his resurrection.  Think about it.  Resurrection was such a far fetched idea.  Surely, Jesus meant some kind of figurative, metaphoric experience when he taught them, warned them about what would happen three days after His death on the cross.  The disciples are human and resurrection did not make good sense to them.  They could not fathom their friend's coming back after such a horrific and public death.  

I get it.  Don't you? I mean, how many things has the Lord showed you about the future of your own life that made you laugh like Sarah or question like Job or run like Jonah or doubt like these disciples?  They were all humans who God blessed and used in spite of their initial and ongoing responses to the instructions or promises God declared in their lives. They also did not have the most "perfect" responses to what God spoke into their lives, much like the disciples.

Mary Magadalene told the disciples that she saw Jesus and they did not believe.
The two men walking along the road to Jerusalem told the disciples that they had also seen Jesus and they did not believe.
And then Jesus shows up.
Yep!  Jesus shows up.
The disciples were eating and probably reminiscing about their time with Jesus.  They might have even been mocking Mary Magdalene and the two men for their tales.  Clearly, their minds are playing tricks on them because they miss their friend so much.  Clearly, Jesus has not risen.  He is dead. He is buried.  He is not coming back.  I can only imagine that this is the kind of conversation that is happening as they dine.

But then something happens in the midst of their meal...

Finally he appeared to the eleven while they were eating. 

What is happening here?  Jesus, is it really you?  Wait a second!  Are you all seeing what I am seeing?  These had to be a few of the thoughts racing through the minds of the disciples when out of no where, Jesus shows up.

Friends, I have to pause because that is a blessing right there.  Jesus will show up in our lives at unexpected times and in unexpected places.  We can be sitting, having a meal with friends, and Jesus will show up.  We could have heard the testimonies of a few of our friends and still not believed but Jesus will still show up.  We could have not fully trusted the Words of the one we called "Rabbi"  meaning Teacher, and yet He will still choose to show up in our lives because in spite of our unbelief.

Now, let us all be clear, their unbelief did not go unaddressed by Jesus.

Jesus criticized their unbelief and stubbornness because they didn’t believe those who saw him after he was raised up.  [Mark 16:14]

So, just as the disciples had to be "chastised," we might also feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit because of our own unbelief.  BUT let us also be clear that our unbelief does not keep us from being used by God to expand God's Kingdom on earth.  For just after Jesus criticized the unbelief and stubbornness of the disciples, 

He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to every creature." [Mark 16:15]

Friends, this is such an act of amazing grace!  That Jesus would still love us enough in spite of our ways of betrayal, denial, doubt, and unbelief, Jesus would still choose to invite us to represent Him in the earth.  Jesus still wants to use YOU.  This is what I see here.  The people who were closest to him had some serious doubts about their friend even after hearing the testimonies of other like-minded friends, and Jesus still says - Friends, I have work for you to do.

He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to every creature." [Mark 16:15]

Friends, this is our command.  This is what we must do.

Lord forgive us for the ways we have doubted and disobeyed your words.  Help our unbelief and send us into the world.  IN JESUS NAME...

God LOVES You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Twitter: @AudraSunshine
IG: @AudraSunshine

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