Why did they do it?

What was the spark which so set alight the thought of the early disciples that they set out to give Christianity to a hostile pagan world? What was it that made them get up and go? After all, they were perfectly aware they faced persecution and possible death.

It was more than a desire to heal, though they healed as they went. It was more than love for their neighbors, though they must have loved them or they would not have succeeded in their mission. One is tempted to offer "truth" as the answer, but that still leaves the real reason obscure. If one does not already see the answer, one wonders how one could possibly have missed it or lost sight of it.

To recapture something of the original impact: imagine that we, too, are on the road to Emmaus, returning home, totally discouraged. All is lost: the Master, the promised Messiah, is dead, crucified; all hope is surely gone! We talk over the tragic events of the last three days, our hopelessness increasing with every hour. Imagine that incredible moment when we suddenly realize that the stranger who has joined us is Christ Jesus himself —alive!

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

"Man is not a pendulum..."
April 5, 1982

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.