And immediately Jesus stretched out His Hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen.
Even the best of us can doubt--like Peter. When he was walking on the water, a wave of worry hit. Perhaps he thought, 'Is this really happening? Can it be true? Maybe it's not real.' Skepticism made him sink.
Recall the breathless women who saw the resurrected Christ. They ran to tell His disciples this glorious news: 'It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them' (Luke 24:10-11). Even the best of us can doubt.
Skepticism is a dead weight tied to the lines of life. After the crucifixion of Jesus, His stunned followers felt ready to sink. But Jesus detached their doubt with a Personal Appearance. He freed His apostles to rise into their destinies: 'I will make you fishers of men' (Matthew 4:19).
Consider these definitions of a skeptic: 1) 'A person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements or the character of others' (Random House Dictionary); 2) 'A person who doubts the truth of religion, especially Christianity' (World English Dictionary); 3) 'Inquiring, reflective' (Etymology Dictionary).
Consider theses synonyms of skeptic: 'Agnostic, atheist, cynic, dissenter, disbeliever, doubter, freethinker, materialist, pessimist, rationalist, scoffer, unbeliever' (Thesaurus).
It's one thing to start as a skeptic. Even the best of us can doubt. But it's a dangerous thing to finish that way, because 'Without faith it is impossible to please God' (Hebrews 11:6).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Skeptics series.