Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16 - They Did Not Believe

Today's Reading:
Leviticus 1:1-3:17
Luke 23:44-24:12
Psalm 29:1-11
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Luke 24:9-12

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 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.

Bible scholars generally agree that the gospel account of women being the first witnesses to the resurrection gives support to the veracity of the biblical narrative. Many a commentator has pointed out that if overzealous male disciples had fabricated the resurrection story, they would surely never have chosen women to be the first to know and tell about the empty tomb.

First-century Jewish society rejected women as legal witnesses. In fact, it's worth noting that Luke's account shows the apostles doing just that. Even though these women were surely well-known to them, the apostles dismissed their story as nonsense. Because they had a bias against the testimony of women, the apostles' first response to the resurrection message was one of rejection.

Response and Action:
Truth can come from very unexpected places. It's all too easy to miss the truth when it comes from someone I have dismissed as unreliable. Just because something seems incredible or unexpected or nonsensical to me, it doesn't mean it is untrue. It's fine to be skeptical and to thoroughly question and examine truth claims, but it is foolish to reject a truth claim simply because I have a predisposition or bias toward unbelief.

I will be a thoughtful and generous listener. When people share personal stories, experiences, and beliefs, I will be careful to not dismiss them without first giving their testimony honest consideration and examination. I will remember that God sometimes uses things that seem foolish to shame the wise. Sometimes God works through the weak instead of the strong. Sometimes wisdom comes from the mouths of children.

O God, save me from arrogance that would blind me to truth. Save me from overconfidence in myself that might cause me to reject something authentic and good. Deliver me from any prejudice that would make me insensitive and closed to the beautiful and redeeming things you are doing in the world. Give me the humility, the curiosity, the patience, and the wisdom to see truth regardless of who is speaking it. Help me to remember that all truth is your truth. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 
1 Corinthians 1:27-30 
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?
by James W. Sire

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