Continued from Part 7…
So fasting was not the issue here. Unbelief was. So now back to the question, what caused the disciples to suddenly operate in unbelief where they had already operated successfully in full belief before? Remember we explained earlier that the opposite of faith was unfaith or the absence of faith?
Actually one of the causes of this absence of faith is the absence of correct doctrine. How can one have correct faith when their underlying doctrine is in error? They had been fed on man made doctrines and religion all their lives. And who taught them these doctrines? The scribes!
The key here is in the fact that the disciples let the fear of man create doubt in their mind which hindered their faith and turned it into unbelief. Fear creates doubt which attacks faith and whose end product is unbelief. The phenomenon that occurred here with these left behind disciples that caused their unbelief is best described as being a ‘respecter of persons’.
To state it plainly, they were simply intimidated by the scribes whom they still held in high regard. Call it a kneejerk reaction from being conditioned all their lives to fear these stern, finely dressed and imposing men held in high esteem by all of society as the oracles of God and judges of the law.
I will give you a personal example of this. I was raised Roman Catholic. My father had studied to be a Jesuit priest. Thankfully, he never finished his studies and decided to marry instead. Good thing or I would not be here to be able to communicate with you! When I became born again at the age of 21 and after 3 months decided to leave the RC organization (I cannot call it a church because church means “the out-called” which we the believers are), I had to face my father to explain to him what I had done and why I believed what I believed.
Let me assure you, it was quite intimidating as you can probably imagine and many times this doubt would create a crippling fear in me as to whether I was wrong or indeed correct against the mountain of dogma this learned man possessed and which had been imprinted on me from my youth. I forced myself to search and study the scriptures like a Berean, as well as, the RC catechism, canon laws, papal bulls, encyclicals, motu proprios, etc. Yes, I experienced this fear of man of my own father, attempting to cause me to be a respecter of his person which time and again I had to overcome. Of course it was an attack of the enemy which I had to keep reminding myself of and not allow it to be a hindrance to loving and honoring my father.
Many times I felt like Martin Luther nailing the 95 Thesis to the door of the Wittenburg Castle church under threat of facing the inquisition and being excommunicated, not just from the organization, but from my own family. After all, this is what I grew up with. This is what I was raised to be. This was the organization I had been baptized in, did my first communion in, went to weekly mass in, went to Sunday school in, had Godparents in and was married in and which I had been part of all of my life.
Just like the disciples, I failed in my first attempts to witness to my father and many, many times thereafter. It was World War 3 for better than 10 years, until my father finally gave in one day and apologized for his behavior over all the years. He said that he could now see that I truly believed and today he will let me pray for him for healing.
For the disciples, this Judaic system of religion was their entire world and all they knew until Jesus came and showed them differently. These disciples were intimidated in the flesh just as I was intimidated in the flesh and the fear of man caused them to be respecters of these scribes fearing their criticism and condemnation just as I feared my father’s criticism and condemnation.
This fear created doubt in their minds which hindered and attacked their faith and they ended up trying to cast out the demon in unbelief under the scrutinizing, watchful eyes of the scribes. The demon recognized this and spurned the disciples for their unbelief for which reason they were able to flout and disregard their commands and which Jesus later confirmed to their face.
Franciscus M. Dartee
Grow in Faith | Walk in Power
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