Monday, November 07, 2011

A Basket Case Lady Can Help Us

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Nobody could have invented the Gospel story as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. No novelist or playwright could have dreamed up such a plot with all its improbable happenings.
For example, the Gospel of Mark. When you get to the last chapter, the "improbables" leap from the page. Jesus is resurrected. You would expect that He would appear first to the disciple who followed him the most closely, John, the man of whom nothing shameful is recorded in the main story. He was a good man, upright, honorable. But no, Jesus does not appear to him at all. He appears first to a woman who had a terrible reputation, a basket-case woman out of whom He had cast seven devils. Her name: Mary Magdalene. That takes your breath away, and incidentally gives all the basket-case people in the world wonderful new hope.

And then, Jesus tells her to go tell His eleven disciples that He has risen from the dead, and these men, John included, simply don't believe it. Any novelist inventing this story would have His close disciples fawning over Him, paragons of leadership wisdom. No, the eleven turn out to be myopic, blind, unbelievers right here at the most wonderful morning in world history when Jesus has risen from the dead.

And here again is the divine wisdom and compassion shining through, which proves that this gospel story is the truth of God. All of us have that same weakness, that same sinful unbelief that plagued the eleven disciples. And we all need healing, so we can learn to believe.

The problem is that hard hearts cannot believe; the heart must be softened, melted, humbled in repentance--and that is where the basket-case lady can help us. She was possessed of seven devils; and having sunk down to the lowest depths, her heart was melted, and she learned to believe.

You don't have to have seven devils cast out--just know and confess that were it not for the grace of Christ, you would have seven devils. Your deliverance is Good News.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: 1994 Phone Message.
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