Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20
Key verses: (16-20) 16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Reflection: I love what Matthew’s gospel says about those disciples on the mountain in Galilee, after the resurrection. They followed Jesus’ instruction to gather there. They saw him, risen and alive! They worshiped him. But some doubted. I love that little line, “but some doubted.” It is honest. Here is the Lord whom they saw crucified and buried, suddenly speaking to them again. I can certainly imagine doubting. In fact, I have and do sometimes. The story of the resurrection is amazing because it is doubtful and unlikely and outside the realm of our human expectations. Learning to see and recognize resurrection and new life takes a different kind of lens than we are used to wearing.
Yet Jesus calls us into discipleship even in our doubt. He says to all the disciples gathered, even the ones who doubted, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” He tells the ones who are all in, the ones still wondering what is happening, and the ones who flat-out don’t get it, to go tell others. Go ahead and baptize in his name, even though some of those whom they will baptize will also sometimes doubt. Go ahead and teach them what Jesus has commanded, even though those whom they teach will have questions and wrestle with what the gospel says and means in their day and age. Get busy with living out the gospel even when you have your own doubts. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Always means even when you doubt. Jesus is with us when our faith is strong, and when it is weak. That is good news, indeed.
Prayer: Lord, you know that I have doubts sometimes. I wonder how I can live out the good news on those days and in those seasons. I worry about others who have questions about you, and wonder how to share the message of new life. Help me to trust that you are with me always. Strengthen me to go and teach and call others to follow you. Help me be your disciple. In your name I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].