There are a couple of very interesting verses right before the famous words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 (otherwise known as a Great Commission). These verses give the backdrop to the final mandate of Jesus,
"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted ."
Think about that for a moment. Here are the disciples of Jesus who watched Jesus throughout his earthly ministry, witnessed firsthand his amazing miracles, saw him betrayed into the hands of his murderers and got to hang with him on several occasions after he rose from the dead. Now some of them were doubting what they were seeing with their very own eyes.
What exactly were they doubting? I don’t know. Perhaps they thought to themselves, "Is this really Jesus? Did Jesus have some twin we never knew about? Is this some kind of ghost or trick? I mean he looks like Jesus, sounds like Jesus and acts like Jesus but how could it be the real Jesus after such a horrible death?"
What if you saw one of your friends murdered before your very eyes, saw the paramedics pronounce him dead, witnessed the coroner put his corpse in a body bag and attended his funeral where you saw his casket lowered into the ground and covered with dirt. You wouldn’t be expecting him to show up on your porch three days later wanting to chat and go out to McDonalds for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a Coke. Every time he talked to you after that, in the back of your mind you’d probably be thinking, "Is this for real? Is this really my friend? What in the world is going on here?"
It was no different for some of the early disciples. They doubted and wondered. But in spite of their doubts they obeyed the commission of Jesus to "Go and make disciples of all nations." And in spite of their doubts Jesus used them.
It’s kind of like the guy who told Jesus, "I believe. Help my unbelief." Jesus took the little faith of that man and did something big with it. Jesus can do the same with your faith, big, little or in between. As you trust in him enough to obey, he will build your faith every step along the way. The more your trust him and the more you see Jesus come through the deeper and bigger your faith will get.
As the early disciples, who at first doubted, continued to obey the commission of Jesus to recruit every person they encountered to become a Christian, their faith grew stronger and stronger. As they witnessed firsthand the Spirit of Jesus empower them to do unimaginable things for God’s glory their doubts dissolved and their faith was fortified.
Maybe you have some doubts about some stuff. Maybe those doubts are about Jesus or about yourself or about Christianity. It’s O.K. to struggle through our doubts as long as, at the end of the day, we, like those early disciples, believe enough to obey the commands of Jesus. When we believe enough to do what Jesus commands us, he will use us, like the apostles, to turn our world upside down and turn our faith right side up.
No doubt about it.
Some of you might be like those early disciples and have doubts about whether or not Jesus really did come back from the dead. After all, someone coming back from the dead is not something you see everyday! If this is the case, click here to check out the story behind the most amazing story ever.