“But Some Doubted”: Matthew 28

Day 4 of my 30-day blog challenge / Summer in the Psalms

I’m sneaking in today’s post just under the chime of midnight. (I went to see “Wonder Woman,” which was awesome. Then it took us almost 30 minutes to find parking reasonably close to my home, because clubbing season has started in our neighborhood. Not so awesome.) This reflection is from my friend Mercy Perez, one of the writers for my church’s Summer in the Psalms series, which I am editing. Mercy’s reflection doesn’t directly reference this past Sunday’s Psalm, Psalm 8, but instead focuses on the passage from Matthew that was also on the lectionary for Trinity Sunday.

Read

Matthew 28:16-20
28:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.

28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

28:19 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,

28:20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Reflect

The disciples have just suffered the loss of their beloved teacher and long awaited Messiah. They were enveloped by all the pain and sorrow the loss of a loved one would cause. With Jesus’ death, they had also lost their expectations of a physical Kingdom of God on Earth.

Then there was a turn of events! The women met and touched a very alive Jesus, and he gave them a message: “Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The women delivered Jesus’ messages, and the disciples immediately set off for Galilee. Just as Jesus promised, he was there to meet them.

When the disciples finally saw Jesus,”they worshipped him; but some doubted.”

The phrase “some doubted” intrigues me. Why would someone doubt what is right before them? Did this doubt come from unbelief?

One commentator (Benson) suggests that the disciples “desire that it might be [Jesus], made them afraid it was not.” They wanted so badly for Jesus to be real that they suspected they were imagining him, or being deceived in some other way.

Yet their doubt did not keep Jesus from coming to them. Instead, the revelation of his presence strengthened, empowered and prepared the disciples for their commission “to go and make disciples of all nations” (v.18). Jesus followed up by promising to be with them always, to the very end of the age.

Respond

As a follower of Jesus, his promise that he will always be with me encourages me and gives me hope. Have I experienced moments of doubt, fear, confusion, trepidation? YES! And am I grateful for the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit through those moments? YES!

If you experience moments of doubt or fear or need direction, take a moment to remember you are not alone. He will be with you always, to the very end of the age.

Mercy Perez

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