Jesus was asked to go to the house of Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue, because his daughter was sick to the point of death. When He reached the house He heard a noise made by the people there because the little girl had died. Jesus very calmly told them, “Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth (Mat 9:24)…” What was the response He received? “And they laughed him to scorn.”
Before then Jesus already has a reputation for healing. That was how Jairus knew about Jesus. But up to that point Jesus has not raised the dead. Healing the sick and bringing to life someone who was dead are quite different.
The people thought Jesus was talking nonsense. They did not believe Him and so they laughed at Him. To laugh someone to scorn is to ridicule him, to look down on him. Many skeptics are still laughing Jesus to scorn. When we try to reach out to the lost with the gospel, we can expect to encounter skeptics who might not be too friendly.
If we keep in mind some simple facts, we do not have to become discouraged by them.
Skepticism Does Not Disprove God
Remember that even though we may face the ridicule of unbelievers, their unbelief does not prove that God is not true. Even though the people laughed at Jesus, it did not affect or bother Him. He calmly went about doing what He came for. “But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land (Mat 9:25-26).”
On another occasion, in Matthew 13:54-58, the Lord returned to Nazareth but many of the townsfolk did not believe Him. They knew of His earthly family and thought they knew Him too, and so were skeptical even though they ‘were astonished, and said, “Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works (v. 54)?”’
Verse 58 says, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” This was not because His power was affected by their unbelief, but rather it was clear they were not ready to receive Him. They already knew He has wisdom and power yet chose to be skeptical. It would be pointless to show them more signs to try to change their minds.
Men’s unbelief has no sway over the power of God. Paul writes in Romans 3:3-4,
“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged (Rom 3:3-4).”
Skepticism Does Not Change God’s Purpose
The Father sent the Son into the world to seek and to save the lost (cf. Lu 19:10). This purpose does not change just because many refuse to believe. We still have the eyewitnesses’ accounts with us today.
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:30-31).”
Skepticism Only Hurts the Skeptics
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Gal 6:7-8).”
It is foolish of the skeptic to think that his unbelief will not have any effect on him. Paul says “he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” The bloodthirsty Jews who cried out to Pilate, “His blood be on us, and on our children (Mat 27:25)” never thought that in less than 40 years God’s judgment would fall on Jerusalem.
Any skeptic who takes his unbelief to the grave will be shocked to realise that there will be a day of reckoning when they will have to answer for their unbelief. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2Co 5:10).”
Skepticism Does Not Obstruct True Seekers
The skepticism of the majority will not stand in the way of true seekers of God. The Lord says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart (Jer 29:13).” True seekers search the scriptures diligently like the Bereans (cf. Acts 17:11). They will not be content just to take another person’s words for it. They want to find out for themselves.
We must also be true seekers like Ezra. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments (Ezr 7:10).”
When we reach out to someone with the gospel and the person shows signs of a true seeker, we must take good care of that precious soul. Teach the person the word of God, plant the seed. If the person’s heart is really good soil, God will give the increase.