“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:16-20
Have you ever wondered why some of the 11 disciples doubted? They are in the presence of the risen Christ. They’ve all seen Him, they’ve walked with Him, talked with Him, listened to Him, prayed with Him, eaten with Him, and touched Him. They know that Jesus died and they know He rose from the dead. So, why did they doubt? What did they doubt?
The Greek word translated “doubted ” is edistasan. It means “double standing, to stand in two ways” and implies uncertainty and hesitation about which way to go. It’s the picture of a person standing where two paths meet and not knowing which one to choose. The word “hesitation” would be a better translation than “doubted.” All of the disciples worshiped Christ, but some “hesitated.”
Think about what they had just been through. The last five weeks of their life had been traumatic. Jesus was arrested. All the disciples ran for their lives. Jesus was tried, beaten and crucified. He died and was buried in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers. They feared for their own lives. Their hopes and dreams for a Messianic Kingdom had been crushed. They didn’t know what their future held for them and their families. Then, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples many times. He told them about their mission on earth and that He was going back to Heaven to rule and reign.
Is it any wonder that some of His disciples would “hesitate” at the path Jesus was calling them to follow? Could they do it? Were they up to the challenge? Would they have the strength? Would they have the wisdom? How could they accomplish the great task placed before them? They stood where two paths met and they hesitated.
Where do we hesitate in our discipleship? What double paths are we facing right now that are causing us to pause in following God’s Son? I doubt that many of us are facing the depth of challenges that caused some of the 11 disciples to hesitate, so why can’t we move forward in our faith?
Hear what Jesus is saying to you. He has all authority, all power, so go — go and disciple your family, your neighbors, your school, your workplace, your community. And don’t forget His wonderful promise: “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
That reminds me of what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:9. He said that followers of Jesus Christ may be persecuted, but they will never be forsaken. Jesus has been with you, is with you, and will be with you, even to the end of the age. You are not alone. Jesus will never leave you. He will never forsake you. Take the path He wants you to walk and He will be with you. Always.