"The moment they saw Him they worshiped Him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally." (Matt 28:17)
In light of the Easter season upon us, I've been reading the accounts of both Jesus' death and resurrection. Jesus has risen from the dead, presented Himself to Mary and several other women, and now the 11 disciples see Him face-to-face, and the above statement is how the Message records their response.
Of course, we know that wasn't the end of the story and that Jesus' death was intentional, prophetic, and even powerful as it served as the required sacrifice needed to cover the payment for sin, once and for all, to restore us back to Him. That His resurrection brought the power to bring life into what is dead.
But imagine having given up everything to follow Jesus only to watch the religious people who had given up nothing and challenged His divinity have Him killed. And instead of defending Himself or God, He suffers a brutal death right along with common criminals and goes into a grave, leaving them abandoned and scared. Disappointment doesn't seem to capture how I imagine those who had risked everything for Jesus must have felt.
But the disciples had a choice: to give themselves back to Jesus with reverence, obedience, and respect or to keep their distance because of doubt. The original Greek is to waver, the same word when Peter started walking on water but then fell.
I wonder where you or I have been disappointed by Jesus. We may deny such a thought because we know that Jesus doesn't disappoint, but our own expectations of who we expect Jesus to be and what He should do for us certainly can just like they did for His disciples when He walked the earth. And so when He tells us to "meet Him in Galilee" so to speak, to trust Him again, we have that same choice. Will we offer ourselves to Him as our worship, or will we waver because we're trusting in our own abilities or simply don't want to risk being disappointed again?
Perhaps it would help us to remember that Jesus doesn't empower us for our own individual comfort and success in life, that our following Him isn't for us alone. This whole scene is actually the background for the Great Commission where Jesus' next move is to verbally transfer His own power and responsibility to carry God's salvation plan to those who follow after Him as His disciples. So I think it's worth contemplating these things and considering if our God who gave up His very life is willing to trust us with this crucial role, will we trust Him in our everyday lives as well as with this call?