James 1:6 got thrown around a lot
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Yep, doubt became a good excuse to use when prayers didn’t get answered; “I’m sure he must be harboring doubt in his heart, that’s why he isn’t healed yet”
Doubt also becomes a useful tool in churches to keep people in line. Encourage true believing at the cost of critical thought and leaders can get away with a lot of nonsense before people finally have enough.
But what did Jesus do with doubters?
When Jesus had been crucified and raised from the dead he then prepared his disciples to launch into the largest spiritual movement the world has ever seen.
His Great Commission!
Surely there could be no room for doubters? Weak links in the chain would throw the whole plan off. Wouldn’t Jesus “lovingly” ask those disciples who were not “fully onboard” to step out of leadership until they had been restored?
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go 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 I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Matthew 28: 16-20
They just saw Jesus raised from the dead and yet they still harbored some thoughts of doubt.
Because they are human!
And it’s OK! But what Jesus does next is what is truly mind blowing.
He gives the same commission to “Go” both to those that worshiped him and those who doubted! He makes NO distinction between the two!
* Jesus didn’t have a loyalty test!
* Jesus didn’t have a patriotism test!
* Jesus didn’t have them sign a “What We Believe” Statement of Faith!
He gave the Great Commission to disciples… who doubted!
Yes, Jesus was a pretty secure church leader
He treats worshipers and doubters the same.
Because Christ knows two years down the road those self same worshipers today will be struggling with doubts tomorrow.
It’s all part of being human!
And they will need the help from those in the group who doubted earlier to take them out for a beer and tell them everything is going to be “OK”!
When Jesus told Peter that he was going to deny him three times Peter insisted that wasn’t going to happen. (Luke 22:31)
He was a worshiper, not a doubter!
But Jesus encourages him that once he has returned he should strengthen his brothers. Once he overcomes his internal struggles and doubts he should help others struggling with the same.
Its the Jesus Way!
Following Christ is a journey. And during a healthy faith journey the worshipers become the doubters… and then the worshipers again.
Its what keeps the worship time really worship!
Jesus knows that and so he commissions worshipers and doubters alike!