Believer-Doubters

Photo by Anze Osterman

Sometimes Christians worry so much about certainty, we forget that our greatest heroes weren’t that certain about Jesus.

Take the disciples. Throughout Matthew there is an emphasis on the twelve disciples and Jesus’ investment in them. Twelve is a perfect number. It restores the hope of Israel. It’s everything the people were hoping for.

And then it’s broken.

At the end of Matthew, in the context of Jesus’ ascension, it’s no longer the perfect twelve. It’s the eleven left. And among them, it’s not the eleven resolute disciples, it’s what Fuller President Mark Labberton calls the eleven believer-doubters.

Because there at the ascension, we find that they gathered and worshiped him “…but some doubted” (Matt 28:17). This is the context for what we often call the “Great Commission.” Turns out it was given to eleven believer-doubters. They were hanging on, but some of them just barely.

This is astoundingly good news for us. Those who are given the charge to take good news to all the world are eleven believer-doubters. Which means our name could be added to that list.

Young people all around us are wondering if they can follow Jesus despite their uncertainty. They wonder if faith is more about getting it all right or entering a mystery. They wonder if they can trust God despite their biggest questions, and if God in fact is big enough to handle those questions.

Jesus’ response seems to be a resounding “YES.”

Watch Mark Labberton’s message of this great hope we carry as followers of Jesus: