Mark stood up before his AA group. “I want to tell you what a difference this group has made in my life,” he began. “The real difference, though, was when I admitted that there was a higher power and started living in a relationship with God.” With a wave of his hand a member of the group said sarcastically, “Oh don’t tell us you’ve become one of those evangelical Christians. We don’t need any more self-righteous, judgmental SOB’s in the world.” After experiencing miraculous remission of stage four cancer, Tasha shared with her fried that she thought her recovery was an answer to prayer. “I don’t believe you,” her friends stated flatly. “God had nothing to do with it otherwise God would heal everyone. Why should you be one of the few to live?”
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene—a woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. Excited that she had seen the Lord, Mary rushed to tell the disciples. They were so immersed in their grief that they wouldn’t believe her. It wasn’t until sometime later that the disciples encountered Jesus and believed. Mary must have been frustrated that the disciples didn’t believe her and angry that one of the reasons why the disciples didn’t believe was because she was a woman. The rejection and disbelief of the disciples did not affect Mary’s relationship with them. Several sources outside the Bible later record her activity in the church.
We have been richly blessed as disciples of Jesus Christ. It is natural for us to want to share what God has done in our lives with others. When we share with others, at an appropriate time, they may not believe what we say. Like the disciples they too might respond in rejection and disbelief. Their response is not a reason for us to break off relationships with our family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. Relationships are a gift from God and the Spirit will move in them with love and grace.
Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.