Like Hen’s Teeth

January 28, 2014

This past Sunday Pastor Bob finished working his way through the book of Matthew in Sunday School. He walked his class through Matthew 28:17 which says, “And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.” This verse is saying that some doubt the truth about Jesus and his resurrection. Who are the some? The preceding verse says, “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.”  The plain reading of the text means that some of the eleven disciples after the resurrection, while they are eyeballing Jesus, still doubt the resurrection.

This simply highlights the impossibility of generating faith on our own. Even in the presence of clear evidence, some of the disciples doubted the truth concerning Jesus. Think also about the Jewish leadership. They knew that Jesus had promised to rise from the dead. Because of this they wanted a guard posted at the tomb. What do they do when they find out about the resurrection? They pay the guards to tell a lie. To use an overused word, this is “amazing.” Even when the evidence is indisputable they don’t believe.

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man begs Abraham to resurrect Lazarus so that he might go back and warn his family so that they will not also “come into this place of torment.” The last verse of that Luke 16 passage says, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” This is the truth expressed above. Let me put it this way: clear evidence does not create faith in God. Even if Lazarus were raised from the dead, it wouldn’t have an impact on the rich man’s family.

Where does faith in God come from? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17). In other words, faith comes as people hear the gospel. Isn’t this amazing? The greatest of miracles will not change someone’s heart, but preaching will. How is it that preaching works when miracles won’t? One time Paul was preaching at Philippi. What happened as he preached the gospel? “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:14). As the gospel is preached, the Lord opens hearts and implants faith. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” All of your salvation, including your faith, is a gift from God. Apart from his work in your life, you would have never believed in spite of clear evidence.

Belief in the work of Jesus is a clear indication that a miracle has occurred in your life. How we should rejoice. Also, it is helpful to remember that the primary means the Lord uses to create faith is the preaching of the good news. We should argue for the intellectual defensibility of the faith but at the same time, we need to articulate the clear message of salvation.

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One Response to “Like Hen’s Teeth”

  1. Al Roberts Says:

    Great Post!!!!!!!!


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