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When I first thought about writing this series, I was primarily thinking of positive things God shows us through quiet things in the Gospel accounts. But the implications of some of them are negative. One of them accompanies the Great Commission.

Look with me at Matthew 28:16-17.

"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."

How do you explain doubt in those who met and even embraced the risen Christ? Humans seem to have an infinite capacity to doubt. There is no situation where you could not be tempted to doubt what God is up to. They were experiencing living evidence of the ultimate miracle, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But some of them still doubted.

The word translated "doubted" is, "distazo." Which means wavering between two stances. But how could any of those who met him in Galilee have questioned who he was or whom they would follow?

These doubters were all believers. This passage only mentions the eleven. But just a few verses earlier Jesus charged the women leaving the tomb to go tell His brothers. We have evidence that they came to believe after His resurrection. I suspect disciples like Cleopas and his wife were also there. And what about Mary Magdalene, His mother, and the other women who followed Him? In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul mentions over 500 people who saw Him at one time after His resurrection. Could these have been there? I think they must have been.

Jesus specifically chose these people to be witnesses of His resurrection, and to take the gospel to the rest of the world. And the enemy will tempt you to doubt when God gives you a crucial task.

Jesus scolded His disciples for not believing when the women told them they had seen Him alive. But here, we are at least not told that He castigated them. As far as we know, His only remedy for their doubts was fellowship with Him.

Are you being tempted to doubt what God has said, or what God is doing? If you are not, you will yet be so tempted. And one of the most effective cures for doubt is spending time in His presence.



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Comment by Malva Birch on June 21, 2019 at 3:39pm

"His only remedy for their doubts was fellowship with Him"

"one of the most effective cures for doubt is spending time in His presence"

Thank you, David, for this encouraging blog.


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