“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Matthew 28:17
In Matthew’s final paragraph of his solid gospel account of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we join the company of eleven disciples who headed back to Galilee, in obedience to their Master, to the mountain where Jesus had told them go. Christ is about to prepare these eye-witness followers for His departure and leave them with a clear mandate of instructions for the future.
In verse 17 we see such a contrast of responses to Jesus. Without naming names, Matthew notes, that ‘they’ (that is some) of the group worshiped, while others doubted. The same Saviour, the same location, the same opportunity, yet polar opposite responses.
This typically represents the two basic responses to messages about Jesus Christ, wherever His gospel is proclaimed. Some are drawn closer in an act of fresh surrender, others leave more perplexed, unchanged in their mind, will and emotions.
What made the difference? They were all Christ followers. They had all obeyed the instruction to “go” to Galilee. Had they not all seen him in the Upper Room? Had they not all heard the testimony of the women who rushed with that first good news into their company, ‘afraid yet filled with joy?’ Then why did not all of them ‘bow in humble adoration’ and there proclaim ‘My God, how great Thou art!?”
Why do we not gain spiritual benefit from all of the instruction we are blessed to hear? Why do we permit nagging doubts and distractions to block the implanted Word of God which is able to bring about such life change? Perhaps…
1) We come unprepared to hear the Word of God.
2) We have strange expectations for the preacher of the Word of God.
3) We cherish some ‘sin’ and refuse to allow the Spirit of God to dislodge it from our hearts.
4) We have never faced our doubts honestly and come ‘clean’ with God about the true condition of our hearts.
May God enable us to prayerfully sing, “Open my eyes that I may see, glimpses of truth Thou hast for me. Place in my hand the wonderful key, that shall unclasp and set me free. Silently, now, I wait for Thee, Ready my God Thy will to see, Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!”