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Does it happen to you?

May 14, 2008

That sense of reading a Bible passage, one that you are sure you have read before, and then this time you read it and are firmly convinced that someone has added new words into your Bible.

Well, it happens to me. The latest example was from reading Matthew 28:17,

“When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted.”

I have read this passage before, but this time I was convinced that the words “some doubted” had been added. Why would I possibly think this?

Because the context is that Jesus is appearing to His disciples following the Resurrection. The Resurrection that they did not expect, although they had been told about it. The Resurrection now gloriously shown true in every bodily degree in the person of Jesus. The Resurrection, that you would think, would have these formerly moping, mourning, weeping disciples now jumping for joy to realize that their Lord whom they thought lost to them forever had been completely and more fully restored!

So why in tarnation did some doubt?

Searching this out I discovered that this word doubt is within the same meaning as the fear and doubt Peter experienced in Matthew 14:28-30,

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Essentially, as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus and believed His words, he was able to do a thing well beyond his natural ability. He was enabled by Jesus to walk on water. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and doubted, he immediately began to sink.

My favorite part about the story is that Jesus did not view Peter’s doubt as irredeemable failure, but instead compassionately reached out and caught him. Jesus identified Peter’s doubt as little faith, but as the chapters continue you see that Jesus does not give up on Peter.

So back to these “some doubted” disciples. They had their Lord before them, asking them to believe a supernatural thing–His being raised from the dead–and they respond with little faith, with doubt. It seems too much to believe.

And yet, as the harmony of the gospels proves, as Acts and the epistles demonstrate, Jesus continues to put up with those of little faith, with doubt.  He doesn’t gloss over what the problem is, but He identifies it, and continues to show Himself more than the doubt.

This was a gift to me today.  To know that Jesus shows Himself greater than my doubt.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2008 11:37 pm

    Yes, that happened to me just this week. The specifics escape me right now, but I’ll tell you about it via email if it comes to me.

    I think it was when I was reading the Sermon scripture on Sunday, but I don’t remember whether it was morning or evening service off hand.

    I love when that happens because it always seems to open up the passage, doesn’t it?

  2. May 15, 2008 12:36 am

    A gift to me as well. Thanks for sharing, my friend. This I needed to hear.

  3. Ellen permalink
    May 15, 2008 1:11 am

    How encouraging Elle, thanks for sharing…

  4. May 15, 2008 2:37 am

    Yes, it happens to me and I love it when it does! It always enlarges the meaning of the passage in ways I could not have imagined before. I can only attribute it to the Holy Spirit. And as you said, Elle, it is a gift.

  5. May 15, 2008 2:53 am

    Good words, Elle. When it happens to me I’m certain that it is the Holy Spirit’s work, shining light on something my heart needs at the time. Yes, it certainly is a gift.

  6. May 15, 2008 10:34 am

    This happens to me when reading the Bible, too. You’re right, it is a precious gift.

    And the specific gift you shared here- thank you for sharing what God blessed you with from His word. It blessed me to read it. What an encouragement to think about how faithful Jesus is, even when we are not, and that He continues to work in us.

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