Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jesus had faith in the doubters:



This past Sunday, both the morning sermon & our Sunday night small group lesson covered the topic of people being disappointed with Jesus.  We covered John the Baptist's role in Jesus' ministry, and how John was key to Jesus' introduction on the scene, and you'd think John would be more valuable out of jail than within.  Yet at the end of the day, John was asking about Jesus: "Are you who say you are, or do we need to keep looking?"  John doubted who Jesus really was.  His circumstances shadowed his view, understandably so, of who Jesus was, leaving John doubting...

In our Sunday night small group though, we raised a great distinction in the two ways "doubt" in used in the Bible:
One, people who Doubt God is real or doubt Jesus' identity.
And then Two the ones who doubt God will do what He says He will do.
Guess which one God is at ease with, and which one God doesn't tolerate.

God shows a lot of grace and sympathy to the ones who struggle with believing He is who says He is, or who stumble along trying to find out if He's real.  God's patience is short with the religious people who have no doubts of His existence and they firmly believe He is real, but then they doubt God will come through on His promises. 

The amazing insight in this, is not only that Jesus was at ease with doubters or that He was comfortable with their doubts or that He didn't panic and lash out the people who doubted Him: He left His church in their hands!  Think that over for a minute.

Mat 28:18-20 is the great commission. Look back one verse earlier, Mat 28:17 is talking about the 11 disciples (Judas has hung himself already, leaving 11) and while some of the 11 worshiped Jesus, Matthew says "some doubted."  Some doubted?  Some doubted!  And Jesus gives this commission to them too?  That's, unbelievable... It's also encouraging.  Jesus has enough confidence in us, that even when we struggle with our doubts, He still trusts us to do His kingdom work.





2 comments:

christianityandvirtue said...

Craig,

Great post. I think you're absolutely right, we need to allow for doubt. We can't just let it stay there (just as we can't remain infants in the faith), but we need to allow room for it in the church. Without that room, people will find themselves being condemned to hell the moment they say something in earnest that is viewed as controversial due to doubt. Thanks again for a great post.

Yours,
David

Craig Cottongim said...

Thank you David! We are trying hard here at New Song Church to develop a reputation for welcoming all people, including people who have doubts.