Thursday, May 12, 2022

Turning the World Upside Down with Doubters

Suggested Reading: Matthew 28:1-20

Sometimes, looking at what the apostles accomplished in the years after Jesus rose back into heaven, it is easy to compare ourselves to them and wish we had as much faith as they did. I mean, these were the people who, according to Acts 17:6, were accused of turning "the whole world upside down" (HCSB). These were men who performed miracles and cast out demons. These people preached great sermons that led thousands upon thousands of people to faith in Jesus. It's easy to look at the apostles and decide that we simply don't have the kind of faith to do things like that.

But then we read a passage like Matthew 28. Jesus has not only risen, but he has appeared to the disciples. Jesus has shown himself to the women who came to the tomb to treat his body. The disciples have gone to Galilee like Jesus instructed them and they have met on a mountain where Jesus has promised to meet them. Matthew 28:17 tells us, "When they saw him, they worshipped him--but some of them still doubted!" (NLT).

Hold on, that can't be right. They are standing in front of Jesus, speaking with him and interacting with him after he died and came back to life and some of them still doubted? But these were the men who taught thousands of people. These were the men who healed the sick and cast out demons and raised the dead. These were the giants of the faith. And they doubted? Where does that leave us?

With an awful lot of hope.

If these men, the men who had walked with Jesus on a daily basis for three years, who had seen the miracles he performed, who had heard him predict his own death and resurrection, who were now standing in front of Jesus, looking at him and hearing his voice, if these men still doubted, then there is definitely hope for us. These men show us that we don't have to have everything perfect. We don't have to have everything together and be paragons of faith and virtue before God can do anything with us. If God can use these men who had been witness to so many of Jesus' miracles, who had heard Jesus' own predictions about his death and resurrection, who were now standing in front of the risen Christ and yet were still doubting, if God can use these men, then God can certainly do something with us.

In John 20:29, Jesus told his disciples, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (NIV). If the disciples had trouble believing even in the midst of all they had seen, Jesus reminds us that the more blessed  faith is the kind that all of us have today, who have believed but have never seen with our physical eyes. If God could work miracles through these men who doubted even as they stood before the risen Christ, God can use us.

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