“The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:16–19, CSB)
Sunday’s sermon will discuss the mission of the ekklesia. In studying, I noticed that statement in the set-up of the Great Commission, “But some doubted.”
What in the world was there to doubt? They couldn’t doubt that Jesus was the Messiah…that he was God’s Son…I mean, he had been dead a few days ago and was now resurrected, meeting them on the mountaintop!
So I dug into that word distazo (doubt) and it is sometimes translated “to hesitate.” They were dragging their feet. Now, let’s think back on who Jesus is talking to here. Jesus died at age 33. As a rabbi, his disciples would have been younger than he…and we think John was much younger, in his late teens. So there was no one hearing this Great Commission over the age of 32.
These were first century millennials!
None of them had ever preached a sermon or taught a Bible study. None of them had ever even left the country.
Jesus had been resurrected and ordered them to a top of a mountain in Galilee. They knew something big was coming. They knew they were inheriting Jesus’ ministry…and some hesitated…they doubted. Here’s what I love about this passage. What does the Lord do when we doubt? Does he get angry and push us away, frustrated with our frailty and weakness?
Look again at verse 18: “some doubted. Jesus came near.” Remember when Thomas had doubts? John’s Gospel tells us, “Jesus came and stood among them.” I love that about Jesus – when I shrink back, he draws closer.
And the same is true for you. When you doubt this week…when you waver…when you fear…when you struggle…Jesus will come near.
See you Sunday!