Jesus opens minds
Jesus showed his disciples his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. - Luke 24:40-45
“Ahhh! Not like that! Why don’t you get it?!” shouts the older brother to his five-year-old little brother. “I told you to put the pieces together like this.” In a house full of children, squabbles like this are quite common. Patience is not just a virtue but is also daily put into use.
Patiently we instruct young children. Patiently we train a teenager learning to drive a car. Patiently we train a new employee. Patiently we assist our elderly grandparents. Patiently Jesus works with us, just as he did with his disciples.
On Easter morning, it was quite obvious that Jesus’ disciples didn’t get it. They had the foundation of the Jewish faith from young on. They had just completed three years of private instruction with Jesus. Yet they still failed to believe that he had to die and that he would rise from the dead. So Jesus patiently continues to work with them, opening their minds and hearts to see how it all fit together.
Sometimes we become a little frustrated when people don’t get it – understanding Jesus, that is. “Just read the Bible.” “Put the pieces together and you’ll see the big picture.” Yet it’s not that simple. Unless Jesus opens minds and hearts to see the truth, people will never be able to believe in him. So how do we overcome this? Patient instruction with God’s Word is the answer, and sometime this takes years.
Staying in God’s Word is especially important for believers as well. We must continue to be patiently trained and instructed by our Savior. In this way, Jesus prepares us to encourage and assist those who don’t yet believe in him. When God opens a window of opportunity and gives us a teaching moment, we will be equipped to share his love.
Take time this week to pray for those who are struggling in their faith. Look for the opportunity to share with them the message of God’s love for them in Jesus. Don’t throw in the towel if they still don’t get it, but patiently look for another opportunity to tell them about Jesus and pray that he will open their minds.