7 Days of Doubt

Posts in the Sermon Prep: Doubt series

  1. The Third Rail – Doubt
  2. Digital Art Photos
  3. 7 Days of Doubt
  4. From Descartes to Indiana Jones

I’m reading Matthew Henry’s commentary on John 20, and he makes an observation that I hadn’t noticed before. In the “Doubting Thomas” story, 8 days pass between Thomas’ proclamation of doubt, and Jesus reappearance to confirm his resurrection. Henry’s interpretation is that the delay serves as a kind of rebuke to Thomas.

That’s not what struck me, though. Thomas basically calls the disciples fools, and says “Someone has duped you, but not me.” And yet, when the story picks up 8 days later, Thomas is hanging out with the 12 (11 at this point, sans Judas). He’s still part of the community, still in the fellowship. Imagine what those 8 days must have been like! What else would the other disciples be talking about, apart from the resurrection? It had to have been the topic at every meal, every gathering. The resurrection, what it meant, what they should be planning for the future. I wonder if, when the week had passed, Thomas had begun to hope that it was true, if he was prepared to believe it, or if he become cynical in the face of their foolish (to him) faith.

I like the precedent that this sets for the church and those of us who are doubters in her midst. There is space for puzzling through, without breaking fellowship.

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3 thoughts on “7 Days of Doubt

  1. Doug

    I like how Matthew records the appearance of the resurrected Lord In 28:17. “When they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.” The very ones who will receive what we call “the great commission” are the ones who worship and doubt. Matthew reminds us that worship and doubt are not mutually exclusive. Many commentators believe the text could be translated “When they saw him they worshiped him, but they doubted”. The meaning being that the very ones who worship the resurrected Christ also doubt. This is in keeping with Matthew’s perspective of discipleship that followers of Jesus are always those of “little faith” (Matthew 14:31)

  2. michael lee Post author

    This ties in strongly with Aly’s quote on the previous post, that the life of faith is always everywhere the life of doubt and struggle.

  3. Pingback: From Descartes to Indiana Jones | Addison Road

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