worship (even when in doubt)

The eleven remaining disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw Jesus there, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  — Matthew 28:16-17 (in my words)

I’m preaching this Sunday on the Great Commission, and so, you’ll probably be getting a couple of posts this week and next from that same text.  We often skip over this little preface to Jesus’ words at the end of Matthew’s gospel — but I have to wonder if they’re not important.  Two ideas stand out to me:

  1. The proper response to seeing Jesus is worship.  And if our lives are not lives of worship, I suspect one of two things is happening.  Either we aren’t looking toward Jesus (certainly not outside the realm of possibility for most of us), or our response is simply something other than worship.  [By the looks of modern Christianity, I might suggest many see Jesus and seek merely to gain knowledge from him?  And not to truly worship him?]
  2. It’s okay to doubt; the apostles surely did.  And often, it seems.  I’m not sure exactly what they’re doubting at this point.  From the context of Jesus’ words that follow, I’d argue they’re doubting their own abilities to proclaim the gospel and carry out the task Jesus is assigning them.  [Jesus’ response, by the way — and more on this in another post — is that it’s his authority by which they are to make disciples, and not their own.]  But regardless of exactly what is being doubted in this passage, it’s clear the eleven still worshiped Jesus.
Do you often find yourself worshiping God?  Do you struggle with doubts?  Do the two seem compatible?  How do we overcome doubt in order to worship?

* I, for a long time, have wanted to write a post about doubt.  Because I fear there’s currently a trend to not only allow Christians to doubt, but to encourage them to do so.  Or to glorify doubt, rather than overcome it.  I wrote a little on the subject here — doubt was going to be the new black — but have never gone into detail as I’d like.


Filed under musings on the Word

4 responses to “worship (even when in doubt)

  1. While “doubting” is indeed the new cool, to a certain extent I simply am glad to see some honesty about it in the world. Christians have been very dogmatic for many years, and I think sometimes that is simply and overcompensation for the doubts that they feel. We claim to have a strong faith when all we really have is wishful thinking and a loud mouth. Not always, but I think it’s true more often than not. At least, it’s borne out by the fact that many fall from the faith withing 5-10 years of conversion. So, something is wrong.

  2. I think there can be good things that come from a wee bit of ‘doubt’ and that is when we search more about ourselves trying to see where we are and where we should be. Doubt that brings about growth is good; doubt for lack of faith is not so good. It all depends on where the doubt lies-in us as humans-that’s ok because we are fallible; doubt in God-hmm…need to work on faith. Hope that made sense. I’ve been away from your blog for a while. Glad to be reading it again.

  3. Pingback: unqualified and powerless for mission | aliens and strangers

  4. Pingback: commission and discipleship | aliens and strangers

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