The Power of Experience

It is interesting that even after the resurrection as the disciples went to the mountain designated to them by Jesus, they still doubted, or at least some of them did. We often read past what Matthew wrote in Matthew 28:16 to get what follows, the Great Commission. However, in verse 16, Matthew used the same word here for “doubt”, that he used when Jesus pulled Peter back to the surface of the water after Peter had walked on the water; he doubted and sank. The Kingdom of God is such a drastic change from our own reality, that even when we see it and experience it, as the disciples did, we can still doubt. In other words, we trust our own knowledge and past experience more than we trust the reality of Jesus’ presence and words. Peter, the fisherman knew that men do not walk on the water, but he was walking on the water. His past knowledge caused him to doubt what he was actually experiencing. The disciples had seen Jesus scourged beyond recognition and crucified. They knew where his tomb was. Yet, there he was standing before them whole and alive. It was too good to be true. Even though they had witnessed Lazarus being called from the tomb, it was difficult for them to fathom and completely believe that Jesus was truly alive.

Even though, those of us who follow Jesus say that we believe what has been recorded in the Bible, we still on many occasions interpret our reality more according to our past experiences than we believe what Jesus said in the Gospels. We doubt that Jesus will take care of us when our back account runs low, or when we lose our job. We doubt that relationships can or will be restored after an emotional conflict has torn them apart. We doubt whether Jesus really heals diseases like he did in the Gospels, because we tell ourselves that was just for the first century. Then we find ourselves, just like Peter sinking in the water, because everyone knows men don’t walk on water. Or we are like the disciples worshiping Jesus, yet doubting at the same time. In those moments we reach out to Jesus, as sinking Peter did, asking him to draw us back to the surface so that we can once again walk above the wind and waves of our circumstances.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: