The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people. (Acts 13:27-31)
I often wonder why Jews don’t acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. Every Sabbath they read the words of the Prophets about their Messiah, and all the predictions of the Prophets were fulfilled in Jesus.
But Scripture tells us the people of Jerusalem and their rulers didn’t recognize Jesus and asked Pilate to have him executed. However, not everyone at the cross sought the thrill of public execution. Shalome, the mother of James and John, had been rebuked by Jesus for requesting that her sons sit on Jesus’ right and left side in heaven. She recognized her savior and didn’t hold a grudge. Shalome’s son, John, Jesus’ favorite disciple, was the only one of the remaining eleven apostles at the cross. The other ten had doubts. Why would the Son of God not be able to save himself?
Two Jewish leaders, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both members of the Sanhedrin, took Jesus down from the cross and laid him in the tomb that Joseph had purchased for his own family. They recognized Jesus. But most of Jesus’ followers didn’t recognize Him until they witnessed the miracle of His resurrection.
Many who witness the miracles of everyday life, don’t attribute them to God and won’t recognize Jesus until a miracle happens in their lives. They are missing out on being Jesus’ favorite disciples and the blessings He gives us.
There have been days when I’ve failed to recognize Jesus. Most were miserable days, some spent in bed. In the same way the disciples must have felt gloomy on that Good Friday when they thought that Jesus wasn’t their Messiah. All of a sudden their lives were void and meant nothing.
Don’t wait for a miracle to recognize Jesus. The Bible tells us: “Come close to God, and He will come close to you.” (James 4:8) When we remain close to God in the good times when he blesses us and the bad times when he’s teaching us, we, too, will be His favorite disciples, and He will promote us.
Heavenly Father, I praise You for sending Jesus to save me. Help me remain close to You and know You are close to me. I am joyful knowing you will bless and promote me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.