Today's verse is Mark 16:13: "And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them." Jesus made a resurrection appearance to two men who were walking in the country (vs.12). The full story of this resurrection encounter is told in Luke 24:13-35. Two men were walking on the road to Emmaus from Jerusalem, after the Passover. One of them was named Cleopas, the other unnamed. They could even have been a husband and wife. No one knows. They had encountered Jesus. They may have been devoted followers. They had hoped Jesus was one who had come to redeem Israel.
Suddenly a stranger joins them in the journey. They start talking about all that had happened in Jerusalem in the previous days, especially Jesus' death.
They also began talking about the women seeing an empty tomb. At this moment, the stranger said, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken" (Luke 24: 25). And he went from Moses through the prophets and interpreted the Scriptures to show himself in all of them. What a moment this must have been! Jesus took these two followers from Genesis through Malachi and showed how he was the center of all the texts!
While they were alone at dinner, there was something in the manner in which Jesus broke the bread that revealed himself to these two. Their eyes were opened. Jesus vanished.
They returned to the eleven and told them that they had seen the risen Lord. They told them all that had happened on the road to Emmaus and how they knew it was Jesus in the way he broke the bread. That's the way Luke's story ends.
Mark only uses two verses to describe this entire incident. In our verse today, Mark simply adds that when these two told the disciples about their encounter with the resurrected Jesus, they did not believe them.
We shouldn't blame them. Whenever anyone has experienced a severe life disappointment from God, it is very difficult to regain trust. It's hard to believe again. That's what was occurring with the disciples.
How do we handle it when God hasn't come through like we wanted? We must trust again. We must believe again. We don't see everything. We don't know everything. We can't see our lives from God's perspective. But we must reclaim our faith that God is good. We must believe again that he is perfect love. We must say to ourselves again, "I know he is in control of this situation." We must believe anew that he is working all things together for our good and his glory. Faith must recapture our hearts.
I know this is hard. But where else can we go? Where else can we turn?
Disappointments are hard. They make us want to give up our faith walk. But we can't. We continue to trust. Though we may never totally understand until we get to heaven, we trust. We believe. The resurrected Jesus is Lord over all my life, even this disappointment.
And, after awhile, we may experience his resurrection power anew.
Don't give up! He is alive indeed!