Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) is quoted as saying, “I know of no one who has done more for humanity than Jesus.” Much of the world, Christian and non-Christian alike, would agree. Yet have you ever considered how the world wouldn’t have been changed for the better if Jesus’ disciples hadn’t told others what they had seen and heard and learned with Jesus? The teachings of His life would have stopped with them.
Remember, Jesus’ three-year public ministry wasn’t documented by daily newspaper reports or sent around the world by 24-hour TV coverage or social media, as it no doubt would be today. How many people, do you suppose, ever saw the miracles Jesus performed or heard Him speak?—Fifty thousand?—One hundred thousand? How many saw Him die on the cross?—A few hundred, perhaps. How many did He appear to after He rose from the dead on Easter morning?—A little over 500, we are told in 1 Corinthians 15:4–6.
Jesus did what only He could do—He died for our sins—but His disciples also did what only they could do. They kept His message alive.
What if, after Jesus’ death, Simon Peter and his fellow former-fishermen disciples had gone back permanently to their fishing?1 What if Matthew had gone back to collecting taxes? What if doubting Thomas had continued to doubt? What if the disciples hadn’t obeyed Jesus’ final instruction before His ascension to wait for the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and received “power from heaven”?2 How many millions would have died without knowing the Savior? Would we even have the gospel today?
As we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this Easter, let’s also celebrate the Holy Spirit’s power and those who kept the gospel alive by sharing Jesus with others. It was up to them. Now it’s up to us.
And then [Jesus] told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”—Mark 16:15 NLT