“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” (Matthew 28:16-17 NIV84).
We’re familiar with this portion of Scripture for what follows this passage—the Great Commission—“Go and make disciples…” But these verses always stun me. What??!! Some doubted? Seriously? Are you kidding me?
Here is one of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, possibly on the Mount of Transfiguration some suggest, appearing to the eleven (or a greater number of disciples, again suggested by some). Faced with the wonder of the risen Christ, “some doubted.”
Doubted what? That a dead person could be alive again? Perhaps. Such a thing would have been out of the realm of typical experience—though not unheard of when Jesus was around—think Lazarus or the daughter of Jairus.
Or did it all seem too good to be true? Their Teacher had been crucified, their dreams dashed, their lives emptied. You know the saying, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” And so, perhaps, that was the seed of the doubting.
But you see, that’s how it works with Jesus—the things that seem too good to be true actually are true. The horror of the crucifixion brings the joy of sins forgiven. The death of Jesus becomes new life—his—and the guarantee of ours.
Through God’s Word, we, too are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. In the midst of difficult days and even more difficult decisions, does his resurrection seem far off, pie-in-the-sky? Are we tempted to doubt? Tempted to reason that nothing good can come from this? Tempted to think that the God who brought and sustained us to this point ISN’T going to take care of us in the future? Tempted to believe that Jesus and his life-giving resurrection are too good to be true?
Some doubt. But we know that when Jesus’ power, love, his care for us seems too good to be true, it still is.
Rev. Dr. Jon Braunersreuther
Mission & Ministry Facilitator Area D