From Doubter to Devotee
Day: 33 | Plan: Luke
Today’s Reading: Luke 24:1-12
Luke 24:11-12 (NIV) “But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”
Is there someone in your life with whom you have shared the truth about Jesus’ life and death? Did they think you or your faith seemed kind of crazy or as in the words of today’s passage, “nonsense”? Luke 24 may be a great source of comfort for those of us sharing truth with a skeptic.
Early in the morning after Jesus’ burial, a group of women go to the tomb and find Jesus gone. They are greeted by an angel who summarizes Jesus’ promise of the resurrection. (Matthew 16:21) Then Luke records an astonishing detail. After being reminded of Jesus’ words, the women believed and went to tell the disciples. Their faith became sight not because of what they saw, but when they remembered the words of Jesus.
Their faith has transformed their grief to gospel-filled joy. The women begin sharing the good news about what they have seen, but when they go to tell the disciples what they have seen, the followers of Jesus don’t believe the women.
Rather than see this as the end of the story, the rest of Luke 24 testifies that this is just the beginning of the disciples’ journey from doubters to devotees. Although Peter doesn’t believe right away, Luke 24:11-12 offers hope.
Peter goes to investigate the women’s claim. Their eyewitness testimony may have seemed like nonsense, but it was at least enough to raise Peter’s curiosity. As Peter enters the tomb, he sees that Jesus is not there, but the linen strips are.
Peter leaves, according to Luke’s account, “wondering” what had happened. Peter, one of the disciples who had walked with Jesus, doesn’t believe what he is seeing. Peter, the disciple upon whom Jesus would build the church, isn’t sure what to think. Peter, who had heard Jesus promise to be crucified and raised to life, can’t process what is happening.
Peter was struggling with doubt. While the word “wonder” could mean “marveled,” if we look at the other Gospel accounts, it seems Peter isn’t yet convinced of Jesus’ resurrection. In John’s account, we learn that John believed, but it makes no mention of Peter believing. (John 20:8-9) In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus confronts the disciples for their lack of faith and refusal to believe the women. (Mark 16:14)
Today’s passage doesn’t give us the end of the faith story of Peter. Not even close, but don’t miss this—it all began with the faithful witness of a few women who were dismissed as crazy. But their nonsense news was enough to make Peter question, investigate and wonder at the truth of this outrageous claim.
Is there someone with whom you’ve been sharing the good news about Jesus, praying they’d move from doubter to devotee? Don’t be discouraged. Don’t believe the lie that just because they don’t yet believe that they never will.
Keep sharing truth. Keep telling them about Jesus, what you’ve seen and what you’ve experienced. Our testimonies probably won’t (and shouldn’t) be the foundation of their faith. But maybe, just maybe, it’s enough to make them investigate and wonder about Jesus. And in the meantime, we pray that Jesus continues to draw them to Himself (John 6:44).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, there are people in my life who need to know You personally. Help me be faithful to point others to You. Would You sustain my prayers for them even when I feel like I’ve failed and that my words aren’t making a difference? Please continue to do what only You can, and draw them to Yourself. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Luke 24 provides a compelling apologetic defense for the reliability of the Gospel narrative.... Read More
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