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. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28

This passage is what is commonly referred to in the Bible as The Great Commission, which Christ gave not only to the disciples immediately gathered, but necessarily to those who would be discipled by the disciples. For that is what we are: disciples, many generations removed, from the original disciples. Jesus didn't tell them to go out and convert people, or lead them to salvation, but to disciple them, so that the great story would continue to unfold to countless more souls as time passes on.

While there's nothing wrong with the Great Commission (hey, I think its great...zing), there is something wrong with how often we mis-read the lead-in to Jesus' direction to his faithful followers. What I'm talking about here is the doubt of some of the disciples.

Rather than responding to just those disciples who worshipped in earnest belief, Christ came to them all - including the doubters. One text I read recently cited this as "one of the great scandals of the gospel...He trusts us with His message."

And so it is that we too believe in Jesus in our own day and age. We worship, but so often we waver in doubt just as often. Sometimes more. And yet, just like the disciples of old, so our doubt too is addressed by the assurance that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Its with this authority that we are commissioned to go out and make disciples. And when doubt comes...He still is with us always.

Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself. -– Madeleine L'Engle

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite perspective on doubt from one of my favorite writers - Malcolm Muggeridge (in an interview with William F. Buckley, Jr.)..."I rather believe in doubting. It's sometimes thought that it's the antithesis of faith, but I think it's connected with faith - something that St. Augustine said - like, you know, reinforced concrete and you have these strips of metal in the concrete which make it stronger."