Let’s go back 200 years to the days when street lights were lit by men carrying a long stick with a wick. The lamps were gas and each evening these gas lighters went through the streets lighting the torches to these gas lights. Can you imagine what our lives would be like today had Thomas Edison not stuck with it. Did you know it took Edison 1000 unsuccessful attempts before he discovered the materials that would actually keep a light bulb lit? Most times the bulb would explode before it ever glowed for a prolonged period of time. He was once asked, “How did it feel to fail 1000 times? To which he replied, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.”
I wonder if that is how Jesus feels about me? I wonder was that how Jesus felt about His disciples? We are each His invention. It may take Him 1000 steps to complete.
“She, Mary Magdalene, went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they were mourning and weeping. Yet, when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it. Then after this, He appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either. Later, He appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been resurrected.” Mark 16:10-14
It was just too good to be true. Jesus did rises from the grave. Before His death, He said He would and now He did! “Get outta here! No way!” Yes way, Peter.
Reality sets in on the Eleven.
“And as they were saying these things, He Himself stood among them. He said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. “Why are you troubled?” He asked them. “And why do doubts arise in you hearts? Look at My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Touch Me and see because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” Having said this, He showed them His hands and feet. But while they were still amazed and unbelieving because of their joy, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” Luke 24:36-41
Tangible, visible proof, low and behold the living, breathing Lord stood before them and still their minds could not accept this fact. He was no ghostly apparition they could see through. He even let them touch Him. He was flesh and bones with sinew and muscles. How many steps of unbelief would He tolerate? As many as it took apparently.
He took their food. He ate a broiled piece of fish. Something He had done many a times in their presence. It was a familiar action and they were captivated.
“Then He told them, These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:44-45
What did it take for them to understand? It took Jesus opening their minds to understand the scriptures. He never gave up. It did not matter how many walls of unbelief He encountered. Jesus knocked them down one by one. It took Thomas Edison 1000 steps to find just the right element and electrical combination to keep a glass bulb from exploding. Can you imagine the hoopla that went on in that lab that day after 1000 attempts?
When will the light bulb stay on for me? What will it take for me to fully grasp the inheritance I have in the promises recorded for me in scripture? How many times must I fail at becoming more like Jesus before He gives up on me? The answer is, “However many attempts it takes to bring His illumination into my life.” My walls of unbelief will never seperate me from the Love of Christ.