…he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen
Believing is hard. It’s hard to do and even more difficult to explain. Even when the audience should be the best prepared and most agreeable to the news, believing doesn’t come easily. Jericho has nothing on the walls of self-protection we live behind. Some things are just too good to be true and we will not be suckered – not again.
Believing the good news is the ultimate risk and if you think you can draw me in with a promise of joy…well, sista, I wasn’t born yesterday. Our hearts are not just hardened they are steel.
How then will God get in? He appears. He appeared to Mary Magdalene; he appears to the two travelers; he appeared to the eleven. Nobody wanted to believe just because someone else told them. I think of Thomas being labeled as the doubter when he was actually just like everyone else. He needed to see for himself.
To “taste and see that the Lord is good” is a personal experience. I can tell you about the creamy center but you are probably going to have to bite into that Whitman’s sample for yourself.
God knows this about humans.
Of course we who believe are supposed to tell – “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation…” is what Jesus said. That’s our part, we tell.
Everything else is God’s part.
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.