Faith is very important value in our lives. We want to live with trustworthy people. It is our thanks if people may believe us.
Last month, I tried to sell a used item through an internet site. After advertising it, surprisingly, several people quickly showed the interests although it was expensive. One of them called me to sell it to him. After serious thoughts, I made a decision to sell it to the first person who showed the interest to buy it. He sent the message, saying ‘Could I trust you fully? I will sent the check to you. Would you send the rest of money to my mover?” I said, “Yes! I am a very trustable person.”
Later I got the check, the number on the check is 4 times higher than what I asked for. I asked him again. “Why do I need to send the rest of money to your mover? You can do it by yourself” He begged me, “I am so busy. Would you do it for me? Please!” He was the first person showing the full trust on me although he didn’t know me.
Later he turned out to be a trickster. Although he appeared to show his trust on me, he wanted to believe my foolishness that would send the money to his account. However, I didn’t believe him. I didn’t send a penny to him.
He might use people’s desire to be a trustable person. That is the reason why he was so bad. Because he was a man who destroyed the trust among the people who want to be a trustable and faithful person in their society. Inversely, this episode shows that how important the faith is in our lives.
Faith plays a significant role in our family. A husband believes his wife and the wife believes in her husband, which makes a sweet home. The parents believe in their children and the children believe their parents; it is a sweet home.
If the husband would not believe her wife; if the wife would not believe her husband, what happens? Their spirits, their souls and also their health would be destroyed because of the lack of their faith each other.
So the faith plays role in tightening the relationship among the people. The trustable words will be our strengths. I hope that you become a trustable person at home, at your workplace, and at your community, of course at your church.
2. Unbelieved Disciples.
Today’s passage describes the disciples’ reaction when they heard the news that Jesus Christ was risen through Mary Magdalene. She was the first person who met the Risen Jesus. Not believing of the disciples would be a natural response because the resurrection was beyond their common sense and experiences. Although the disciples met some people who saw the Risen Jesus, they were not delighted, which they didn’t have any expectation of the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
We have to remember that Jesus will rebuke us for our lack of faith and our stubborn refusal to believe.
They lived with Jesus for 3 years. They learned who Jesus was. They learn the Kingdom of the Heaven. They were trained how to live on the earth. They heard the prophecy from Jesus. They saw that the dead Lazarus was risen by the power of Jesus. They were also the witness that Jesus gave a life to a dead girl. From all these things, they learned that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus showed them that he was a trustable and faithful person and also the son of God. Nevertheless, his disciples first failed to believe the Risen Jesus from the dead.
What we should learn from today’s passage is
First, God’s miracle is not always related with one’s faith.
Some folks say that I will believe God if they see God’s miracle; if their prayers will be answered. Of course some believe God after seeing His sign, but some still will not believe because of their stubborn heart. This was the true when God revealed His powers at Egypt in Exodus. The Israelis believed in God, but the king of Egypt refused to believe in God because of his stubborn heart. After seeing Jesus’ miracles, some had a steadfast faith, but some made a decision to kill him. Although the disciples had spent 3 years with Jesus, their faith was not enough to believe in His resurrection.
Second, we need faith every day.
Some folks said that they had a good faith before. They had worked at the church a lot. However, we recall these as memories, but not faith. Because faith is always important at the present. We should use faith every day.
Although the disciples believed in Jesus, their faith was weaken after the suffering and the death of Jesus. They would not believe his resurrection. The faith is needed for the present.
We send some foods to Japan’s missionary, named as “missionary table”. I ordered some foods, such as chickens, apples, sweat potatoes and hams, for them. Ms. Yoo sent an email for appreciation of our gifts. She said that they were wondered who we are. She asked me to come her church when I may visit Japan.
This was my response for her letter. “Our church is small, but we want to be the Lord’s hand in the body of the church. We hope to serve the beautiful feet that share the gospel.” How about my reply for her letter? Our church will be used as the hands of His body, which is the church.
I found the common prayers in the missionary letters, which is for daily food and open a door for the message, to speak the mystery of Christ (Col 4:3).
Although they have passion to proclaim the gospel, we may learn that they have burden in their daily life, which is daily bread. They need faith that God feeds them. We also need faith that God always feed his people. The Lord taught us to pray for the daily bread. In this prayer, I found that we will find the Lord who will guide our daily life. If we have a lack of faith, we will worry every day for daily obstacles.
We may pray for the missionaries and missionary candidates to have faith for their daily bread. We may meet God who also provide the daily bread for us. We need daily faith in our lives.
Third, the function of faith we need to know.
The book of Hebrew says, ‘faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’ This shows that faith has a function to see what we don’t see. In other words, we may have faith in God and know who God is.
The disciples had a lot of experiences to see Jesus’ miracles. They all overcame the common sense and our experiences, which led them to know who Jesus is. Thus, they should believe and expect Jesus’ resurrection if they believe Jesus as the son of God.
When I ponder today’s passage, I recognized that we also encounter many things that we couldn’t image. When we meet what we didn’t expect, we should use faith if we believe in God. We should show our trust to the Lord. We should use our faith that God takes care of us always. Our faith is that God will lead us when we will encounter what we don’t know and what we don’t expect in our daily lives.
Forth, we should consider God’s mind.
Our Lord believes us completely. Whenever we repent for our sins, he will welcome us warmly although we have turned aside and gone away for a while. What the Lord wants us to believe in is the Lord. Believe the Lord Jesus Christ, we should learn that the Lord wants us to believe in Him.
What we learn from today’s passage is the mind of the Lord. He was sad because his people didn’t believe him although the Lord believed them.
The Lord shows us that he believes us continually. Sometimes we forget to believe him when we forget his mind. Then, the Lord will be sad. If we know what God’s mind, we should believe in Him.
We should believe that God’s word should be revealed. What we do is to believe what the Lord said and his promises, which the Lord will please.
Folks, let be believers. Let’s be a trustable people. We should be people who believe in God, his promise and understand his mind.
3. The goal of our faith is our salvation of our souls.
After the disciples met the Risen Christ, after they saw his hands and side, they believed him. The reason why the Risen Jesus stayed with his disciples for 40 days was to show and to confirm his resurrection.
His disciples were rebuked because of their lack of faith. After they received the Holy Spirit, they were changed. We can learn the goal of faith from the letter of Peter.
Let’s read 1 Peter 1:3-9.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Our pure faith may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. The goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls.
Let’s believe in our God. Believe in Jesus Christ. As God believes us, we should believe Him. God will be responsible for us. Don’t be in a hurry. God will guide us in our lives. Don’t be worry too much. God’s grace and peace be with you who have faith in Jesus Christ.