No matter our doubts...Go and Do!
by Rev. Meredith Scruggs on July 21, 2021
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
What strikes me this week as I read this passage about the Great Commission is the phrase in verse 17 “some doubted.” It is unclear who exactly is doubting. Is it some of the remaining eleven disciples? Are there others present not indicated in the text?
It is also unclear exactly what they are doubting. Are they doubting Jesus’ presence? Are they doubting the resurrection? Are they doubting why they themselves are there worshiping? Are they doubting the salted fish they ate for breakfast?
Whatever the doubts or who was doing the doubting, the text clearly asserts that Jesus commands all to act in ways that bring people from everywhere into the community of Jesus followers…whether they feel confident or doubtful. It fascinates me because it seems counter-intuitive! Doesn’t Jesus want all of us to be confident and clear about why we are worshiping in order to go make disciples?!?
But I think it is a good reminder that at times in our faith journey, even people who experience the Risen Christ, can still have some doubts; yet they are still called and commanded to “go make disciples.” We do not have to have it all figured out yet! But it seems to me that going out and “making disciples” does not depend on our feeling safe and secure in our faith all the time. It depends on experience and action! “Go, make, teach, baptize, remember.”
Now I am an introvert who likes to spend time with my thoughts, figuring things out until I am sure about what I think or believe. But nowhere in Jesus’ commandment does he say “honor your introverted self and figure it all out.” (Though he does model going off to pray by himself see Luke 5:16) Jesus also does not say, do a Strength Finder test and then create goals to best determine how to make disciples (though true confession, this strikes my goal-oriented self as very reasonable!). In this text, he commands action, not confidence; action, not knowledge; action not perfected theology. No matter our doubts, no matter our confidence…go and do! And know that Christ is with you ALWAYS!
Many blessings to you in your “goings” and “doings” this week!