The book of Matthew comes to an end in chapter 28, verses 16-20 with Jesus risen from the grave. I would love to know what Jesus tells His disciples during the time after the resurrection, before He leaves for Heaven. I assume it’s the stuff in the Gospels, since so much of the books are things they couldn’t have known.
Today, as I read through it, the one thing that hit me was in verse 17. “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, bu some doubted.” Really? Even at this point, some doubted? You see Him die. You know He was buried. Know He is talking to you. But you doubt.
It’s logic. Their brains are telling them that this is not possible. The grave was a fake. He didn’t really die. People today call it the “swoon theory”. Jesus didn’t die, He just passed out, and then came out of the grave a few days later.
Why include that detail? It’s embarrassing to the new movement. Here is the start of the church, and at it’s core are some guys who doubt themselves. I personally would bury that little by-line so deep that no one would ever know. I would have painted the picture of a huge party where everyone was so sure, that no one was surprised He was there. But Matthew doesn’t. He comes clean. Some doubted. I don’t get it.
Until I doubt Jesus myself.
He’s been so good to me, proven Himself daily for 35 years in my own life, and then I do it. I doubt Him. He calls me to believe something that doesn’t line up with how I experience life, and I doubt it. I doubt Him.
What is His response?
“I have all authority on heaven and earth, and I am telling you to go. Make disciples out of people. Teach them to obey everything I’ve said. Baptize them, but do it in the name of my Father, Me, and the Holy Spirit. I will be with you forever. I promise. Now go.”
Our doubt doesn’t slow Him down. At all.
So, yeah, you doubt Him. Ok. We all do. That’s not the end of the story. Matthew 28 doesn’t end with “but some doubted, so He gave up and went to Heaven, leaving us on our own.” It ends with a promise that no matter how much we doubt, He is with us.
That’s a great ending.