by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

Standing Under His Authority (1 of 3)
Our Mission Is To Make Disciples
Tony Nester
Matthew 28:16-20

Verse 17 is one of the strangest verses in the Bible.
"When they (that is, the disciples) saw him [Jesus,
who had risen from the dead], they worshiped him; but
some doubted."

This is Mathew's final story of how Jesus appeared to
his disciples after his resurrection from the dead.
It is the climax of this Gospel. Here we have the
closing scene with our last look at how the disciples
behaved and at Jesus' final words to them.

The scene takes place on a mountain in Galilee where
Jesus appears to the eleven disciples (Judas having
hanged himself) after his resurrection from the dead.
We can understand the first part of verse 17: "When
they saw him, they worshiped him". It's not hard at
all to imagine the disciples gazing at a mountain
vista, and then falling to their knees in worship when
Jesus, the Risen Lord, suddenly and unexpectedly
appears to them.

What is hard to understand is the second part of verse
17: "but some doubted." What's going on? One moment
the disciples are worshipping Jesus and in the next
they are doubting. What's wrong with them? Do they
believe in Jesus or don't they? Do they recognize
that he has risen from the dead, or not? Why are
their minds filled with doubt while their knees are
bowing to him in worship?

Some Bible commentators try to solve the problem by
proposing that the verse is talking about two
different groups of disciples. The first part of the
verse is talking about the eleven disciples who do
worship and believe in Jesus, while the second part of
the verse is talking about other disciples who haven't
yet believed in him. These commentators put a lot of
stress on the word "some" and suggest the meaning is
"some of the disciples doubted Jesus, but not all of
them - not the eleven, just others who had accompanied
them there."

The ...

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