Reading: Matthew 28: 16-20
Verse 17: “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted”.
At the very end of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus gathers with his disciples for the last time. Once they see the risen Christ the disciples worship him. In this gospel only the women who came to the tomb have seen the resurrected Jesus. If we only had this gospel it would seem a big leap from seeing Jesus die to receiving these instructions that we read today. Fortunately in Luke’s gospel we have a few accounts of Jesus appearing after his resurrection and in John we add other accounts of Jesus’ forty days after his death. So the disciples have seen and interacted with the risen Lord several times themselves. Yet at the end of verse seventeen we read, “but some doubted”.
Much like these few that doubted and much like Thomas in John 20, we too can experience times of doubt. Often our doubt comes when we are just beginning to walk as a Christian, in that time when we are “working out” our faith. I think that doubt is a natural part of any new and developing relationship. It takes some time and experience to build trust… As one makes the commitment to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior, we feel like our faith is strong. We feel like it can carry us through anything. And then a crack develops. Maybe it is caused by a tragic event, maybe it is someone saying something counter to our faith. Our mind and heart question God and doubt begins to creep in. This is right where some of the disciples are. Jesus has died and the Jews are saying that he was not really resurrected. Like we do at times in our faith journey, some doubted.
The doubting did not bother Jesus when Thomas finally saw him. He simply reassured Thomas. In today’s passage it does not bother Jesus either. He grants the disciples – all of them, not just the ones without doubt – the power and authority to go and makes disciples of all nations. Doubt is part of our faith. When we are able to trust God through our doubt, it leads to wrestling with our faith. Almost always this leads to growth. Do not fear moments of doubt. Jesus does not mind a bit. They are refining points. Be open and honest with the doubt and God will guide you through it. It is all part of the journey. Blessings on the journey!
Prayer: Lord God, even this day as I doubt, walk with me to build and refine my faith and my commitment to you. Take my doubt and walk me through it. Amen.