“And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45 NKJV).
The ultimate purpose of every supernatural sign performed by Jesus Christ while on earth was to lead the people to believe that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Son of God.
John the Beloved reveals this in John 20:
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;
31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (NKJV).
Whatever sign, vision or revelation the Lord Jesus gives us today, it is still primarily for the same purpose – to lead us to believe that He is who He says He is and that He will do whatever He says He will do.
Mary Magdalene was undoubtedly the first to see the signs that the Lord Jesus had resurrected from the dead as He had promised, but unfortunately she was not the first person to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
When Mary got to the tomb early on the resurrection morning and saw that the heavy stone laid against the mouth of the tomb had been miraculously taken away, she quickly jumped into a wrong conclusion.
The Scripture records: “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” (John 20:2 NKJV).
Obviously, that was false news! No one had taken the Lord out of the tomb; He had risen up from the dead triumphantly just as He had said before His death.
Mary missed the divine opportunity of being the first witness or broadcaster of the glorious news of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus because she couldn’t see with spiritual understanding.
Until you also can see right or see with spiritual understanding, you cannot be an effective witness for Christ!
Although the Lord Jesus had risen from the dead and there were many indisputable signs in the tomb confirming the Lord’s resurrection, yet Mary Magdalene stay put at the tomb weeping (John 20:11-12). That was simply an act of unbelief!
Mary’s unbelief was the result of her inability to see right or see with spiritual understanding!
Not even the presence of the two angels in the tomb could convince Mary that the Lord Jesus had resurrected from the dead.
When the angels asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” (John 20:13 NKJV).
Unbelief is a symptom of spiritual blindness! It stems from lack of spiritual understanding or revelation knowledge of God’s Word. Therefore, the primary cure for unbelief is the enlightening of your eyes of understanding by the Holy Spirit, so that you may truly see and believe what God has said or what God is saying to you.
In response to Mary’s false news that the body of the Lord Jesus had been stolen from the tomb, Peter and John ran to the tomb. Although John outran Peter to the tomb, yet Peter was the first person to enter into the tomb.
Even though Peter clearly saw tangible signs or evidences that the Lord Jesus had risen, yet he did not believe. Obviously, like Mary, he didn’t see right, his eyes of understanding were yet to be enlightened.
The Scripture records: “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.” (John 20:6-7 NKJV).
Peter’s silence and inaction after seeing clear evidences that Jesus had risen was nothing but a demonstration of his unbelief resulting from spiritual blindness.
Although Peter and John saw the same signs of Jesus’ resurrection when they both entered into the tomb, yet it was only John who believed that the Lord Jesus had truly risen from the dead as He had told them many times before His crucifixion.
The Scripture testifies: “Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.” (John 20:8 NKJV).
Apparently, both Peter and John saw the same signs – the undisturbed linen cloths and the handkerchief used to wrap the body of Jesus, however, they responded differently – John believed, but Peter didn’t. Why?
The main reason for the difference in the conclusion and response of Peter and John to the same signs they saw is because they saw differently!
Different Greek words were used to describe the different ways Peter and John saw the signs of Jesus’ resurrection. The Greek word that was used to describe how Peter saw the signs is “theoreo” denoting “to be a spectator of.”
But, the Greek word that was used to describe how John saw the signs of Jesus’ resurrection before he believed that the Lord Jesus had truly risen from the dead is “eidon” meaning “to understand, to be sure.”
While Peter saw as a spectator, without grasping the meaning of what he saw; John saw with understanding and thus believed.
Until you begin to read and see God’s Word with spiritual understanding, you will not be able to believe and receive God’s promises!
Beloved, the primary reason why you are always struggling to believe God’s Word is because you are not seeing the truths of God’s Word with spiritual understanding. Perhaps, like Peter and Mary, you have only been seeing casually, but not grasping the truth.
The antidote to your unbelief is spiritual enlightening or understanding of God’s Word by the Holy Spirit!
Like John, when you truly see or understand what the Lord is saying or showing to you, you will respond in faith. Therefore, don’t just be pleased with reading or hearing God’s Word daily as a religious duty; you need to seek to have a spiritual understanding or revelation knowledge of God’s Word.
It takes much more than intellectual ability to understand God’s Word!
Unless the Lord opens your understanding, you will never understand God’s Word. The Lord Jesus had to open the understanding of His early disciples before they could understand His words.
The Scripture states: “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45 NKJV).
Friend, when you approach God’s Word with a willing, humble and open heart to obey whatever God says in His word, the Holy Spirit will also open your understanding so that you may see, understand and believe God’s Word.
The Scripture assures: “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine…” (John 7:17 NKJV).
“The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” (Psa. 25:9 NKJV).
Therefore, begin to approach God’s Word today with a willing, humble and open mind, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and give you spiritual understanding or revelation knowledge of the truths of God’s Word so that you may understand and believe God’s Word.
Prayer: My Dear Holy Spirit, enlighten my eyes of understanding and begin to unveil God’s Word to me, so that I may begin to read and see with understanding and thus believe God’s Word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.