Disciples and Doubt

The Great Commission text in Matthew 28:16-20 is very familiar to most of us.  We have quoted it, preached it, and taught it numerous times.   We must be careful with Scripture that is most familiar lest we overlook some truth that has escaped our notice.

Matthew 28:17 is one of those strange verses tucked into a familiar text that we might have overlooked.  It reads, “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”

What an extraordinary verse right before Jesus gives His church their assignment to “make disciples.”

How could you see the resurrected Jesus and doubt?  The word doubt means to waver in your opinion.  They saw Jesus and for some reason had doubts about what they saw.   Doubt versus faith…the age old confrontation.

Every day we have the same two choices in life.  We can worship Jesus in faith or we can doubt and be without faith or faithless.  Evidently some of the so called followers in this text doubted the resurrection of Christ. 

One writer said this, “No Christian grows in faith without some doubt. The five-year-olds who took in every Bible story will become the fifteen-year-olds who want to know how, what, why, when, and where. And they will grow, too, and press for deeper answers along the way.”

It is not a sin to doubt, but be sure to keep looking for the truth from God’s Word.  If you look at the wrong source you will grow in your doubt.  Look to the right source and your doubts will flee. 

In Scripture there is a vital connection to answered prayer and faith.

Peter doubted while walking on the water and it cost him.  Matt. 14:31,” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 

 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” Mark 11:22-23

The same truth is recorded in James 1:6, “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Doubt causes us to hesitate and waver in our faith walk. 

Little faith equals more doubts.  More faith equals less doubt. 

In the body of Christ there are all sorts of levels of faith including some who might be full of doubt.  We must be patient with those as Jude 22 says, “Be merciful to those who doubt.”

As disciples of Jesus we must remember that we all “walk by faith and not by sight.”  Don’t let what you can’t see stop you from moving forward with faith eyes.  

Today let Jesus replace your doubts with faith.  The first step is to ask Him.  He’s waiting. 

Keep the Son, in your eyes,

Mike James

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