71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.” — Luke 22:71 NLT
When I read this verse, I often think, “How could these people be face to face with Jesus and refuse to believe?”. But, then, I am reminded of how many times I was called by the Holy Spirit and refused to believe. It is easy for us to assume that we would have acted differently than those people did then. We let oursleves off easy thinking that we would have surely believed Jesus in this situation. But, just as Abraham told the rich man who requested that he send Lazarus back to his home town to speak to his brothers, if they won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe even if they saw someone return from the dead.
On the day that Jesus was crucified, there were prophets and holy people of old whose bodies were released from the grave and they walked the streets of Jerusalem, but not all of Jerusalem was saved.
The point is this, people that have lived since the Holy Spirit was sent to call us, lead us and comfort us, have more reasons to believe than most of those people back then. We can look back over history and see more of God’s promises fullfilled than they could and yet, there are many that still refuse to believe. We will hear the story multiple more times than most of them heard it, but not all will believe Every person will hear the story and have the opporitunity to receive Jesus as their Savior, yet not all will do so. As time goes by, hearts grow harder and harder. A few years ago, it was reported that we had to hear the story seven times before we accepted Jesus. Now, that number is reported to have risen to fourteen. Our work is to keep telling the story and we must keep telling it more and more, so those around us will have more opportunities. But the results of our telling the story are in God’s hands. Our work is to tell, His work is to confirm it in the hearts of those He has chosen.