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Faith and Doubt

In one parable, Jesus told the story of a man in hell who pleaded with Abraham to send someone back from the dead to warn his brothers of the danger. Abraham refused the man’s request: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

Jesus’ point was proven after His own resurrection. He had directed the eleven remaining disciples to meet Him on “the mountain” in Galilee (Matt. 28:16). Matthew adds a surprising detail about this encounter with Jesus in verse 17: “some doubted.” Who were these doubters? Some believe they were the eleven. Others think it was a larger group that was present. At first the eleven struggled to accept the testimony of those who had seen the risen Christ (Luke 24:11; John 20:24–27).

There is more to faith than hearing or seeing. We may think that it would be easier for us to believe if we had been eyewitnesses. Yet some saw Jesus after the resurrection and still doubted. There is strong evidence to support the resurrection of Christ. Hundreds saw Him (1 Cor. 15:6). But the Bible teaches that seeing is not essential to faith. Jesus promised a special blessing to those who would believe without seeing: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Not only is Jesus still alive, He is present with us and has given us authority to act as His representatives. The church’s task is to make disciples by baptizing and teaching. They must then learn what it means to live under the authority of Jesus Christ.

>> As we conclude this month’s study, know that our task, as Christ’s church, is done for Jesus but also with Jesus. He empowers us by His Spirit to bear witness to the truth of His resurrection with our lips and by our lives (Acts 1:8). Go forward today as a bearer of this amazing news!

BY Dr. John Koessler

Dr. John Koessler, who retired as professor emeritus from Moody Bible Institute, formerly served in the division of applied theology and church ministry. John and his wife Jane enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan. A prolific writer, John’s books include The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody), and True Discipleship (Moody). John is a contributing editor and columnist for Today in the Word.

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