I was reading the other day from Matthew 28, after Jesus’ resurrection:
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted (Matthew 28:16-17).
I love how bluntly that is stated. One might think that having been an eye witness to Jesus’ resurrection would be enough to dispel doubt. Here are Jesus’ closest friends. They travelled with Him for three years. They witnessed His miracles. They performed miracles themselves under His direction. At the end, they saw Him captured and put to death; some of them saw where His body was laid in the tomb. And now they were physically in the presence of His living, post-resurrection being. They could see him. But some still doubted.
Even in the very presence of the newly resurrected Jesus, some doubted. If that is true for some of Jesus’ closest friends, then how do we stand against doubt?
We might think, God if you could just…. then that would be enough. But I see Jesus shaking His head the same way I see Him shaking his head at Philip who said, “Show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Evidence can support faith, but it cannot eliminate doubt. And that, my friends, is where this gets interesting. Read carefully:
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted (Matthew 28:7).
If I knew Greek I’d do a word study on this line, but even across several English translations the same picture emerges: The eleven disciples climbed the hill. They saw Jesus, and they worshiped Him.
It doesn’t say that some of them worshiped and some of them doubted. It says “they worshiped him.” Only then does it add that some doubted.
Doubt did not preclude worship.
Think about that. We can worship, even when we doubt.
The passage continues with Jesus coming and speaking to them. Not to “some of them.” Not to the ones who did not doubt, but to “them.” Inclusive.
“Go and make disciples of all nations,” He instructed them.
All of them. Even those who doubted.
Satan would love for us to think that doubt is a stumbling block. He wants doubt to reduce our worship, sever our Christian relationships, and prevent us from telling others about God. But I do not see doubt as a stumbling block when I read God’s word. Instead, I see Jesus, coming to me, His follower who doubts. And He is saying: Come, worship me. Then go, tell others about me.
This is what I find so amazing about these simple lines:
Yes, some doubted.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-19).