Obedience, Worship And Doubt
The disciples had arrived at the rendezvous point, a mountain in Galilee. Jesus had told them to meet Him there after the resurrection (Matthew 26:32). The message was reissued by the angel at the tomb who commissioned the women to remind the men (Matthew 28:7), as was confirmed by Jesus Himself as He met the women when they left the burial site (Matthew 28:10). Wonderfully, the disciples did not ignore the command. They obeyed.
It was not the first time they had seen Him after the resurrection. Matthew does not write about their encounter on the evening of resurrection-day (John 20:19-23), nor another occasion a week later (John 20:24-29), or the encounter with the disciples at a barbeque breakfast on the beach (John 21:1-23). However, this occasion atop that Galilean mountain was crucial not only for the ministry of the disciples but for the whole church. It was to be the official handing over of the gospel-baton.
Before the Great Commission was delivered (Matthew 28:18-20), they worshipped Jesus. 'Worship' is a big word because it meant that they knew (or at least most of them knew) that He really was God. Only God can be worshipped (Matthew 4:10) and Jesus did not rebuke them. Yet some of them doubted. Our little human minds find it so difficult to deal with new experiences, but the Lord understands. He does not allow a little doubt to get in the way of His purpose; He is not deterred by our slowness to grasp the truth: He is willing to explain all that we need to know (Luke 24:25-27).
There is a pattern here which we will do well to follow. When we know that the Lord has spoken (and He may have confirmed His command in different ways) our first response should be obedience. Even if we are not sure that we understand everything, we must take the first steps. As we do, we need to worship Him – to accept that He is God and knows what He is doing, and be ready to submit to His will. At times we may doubt. But do not let doubt make you disobedient; take the first steps of faith by meeting with Him. Then He will reveal His will and explain how to do it.
© Dr Paul Adams