Doubt Can Be Okay

man standing at edge of a cliff

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. – Matthew 28:17 ESV

Since the eleven Apostles had already believed, with Thomas being the last, the reference to doubters means that there were others present. It seems reasonable that at least some of the five hundred (1 Corinthians 15:6) were present and that the doubters were within this group.

Jesus Understands Doubt

What is encouraging to us is that Jesus didn’t call out the doubters, or focus His “Great Commission” to the exclusion of the doubters. No, what we see when we read Matthew 28:16-20 is Jesus addressing the whole crowd.

The doubters “showed up” which means that they were still disciples of Jesus. It was just so difficult for them to believe that they had witnessed the promised Messiah. It would be like us being in the courtroom when Dr. Martin Luther Jr. received the message from the Supreme Court that outlawed “legal” segregation. For those in that room, it would have been difficult to believe that a bunch of old, white guys had finally destroyed hundreds of years of “legal” inhuman treatment of African-Americans.

Peace Comes In When Doubt Leaves

When it comes to Jesus, doubt can be okay unless we hold on to it. This is true for the lost and the saved. For Christians, many times the Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts things that we “can’t believe.” Yet, through prayer, fasting, and the counsel of church elders, we can move from doubt to trust. Peace comes in when doubt leaves. 

When you move to trust you have this promise from God: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

Photo by Leio McLaren (@leiomclaren) on Unsplash

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