Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to encourage believers to affirm to others to TRUST GOD.
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr.
Fort Ord Chapel
18 May 2008
Big Idea: Believers are sometimes guilty of having a “defective faith” – a faith that believes, but can not bring itself to “always TRUST GOD”.
Scriptural References: EAI (Expository; Application; Illustration) Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV); John 20:19-31 (NIV) – Jesus Appears to His Disciples; and Jesus Appears to Thomas; Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him; Mark 9:14-29 (The Epileptic Boy); John 20:24-25 NIV (Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."); Jude 1:21-23 (RSV) keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh; Luke 2:52 (NIV) And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Matthew 28:16-20 NIV
II. READ THE PERICOPE: Matthew 28:16-20 NIV
III. READ THE TEXT: Matthew 28:17 NIV (When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted).
IV. PURPOSE: To encourage believers to affirm to others to TRUST GOD.
V. SERMONIC THEME: DOUBTING, But Still Worshipping
Have you ever wondered, why God allowed the story of Doubting Thomas to even be in the Bible (John 20:19-31)? And why do we call the brother Doubting Thomas as if we’ve never doubted the Lord? Personally, I can best empathize with Thomas. Because with him, I find a disciple of Jesus that I can best relate to. Sure, some of you in here this morning feel like you can best relate to Abraham the Father Patriarch of Faith. But I can’t relate to Abraham. For the Bible says, in Romans 4, that Abraham stumble not at the promises of God.
He was one hundred years of age; and his wife (Sarah) was ninety – and far pass menopause. Yet, he had enough faith to NOT ONLY believe God, but to also TRUST him at his promised word. He had “NO DOUBT”. Quite frankly, I sometimes have doubt; so I don’t close to relating to Abraham. For, you see, my brothers and sisters, DOUBTING raises questions about facts, alleged or otherwise.
Doubting refuses to walk blindly because of its need for self preservation. Doubting says, my current circumstances AND MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES prevent me from being fully convinced.
Doubting says, I’m here to consider the EVIDENCE.
****** TAKE 5 BEATS ******
MOVE 1: The fact of the matter is, Jesus never rebuked anyone for doubting, ONLY FOR REFUSING TO CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE.
a. In our Scripture Reading, today, we find Matthew’s account of our Savior’s Final Appearance to The Eleven Disciples.
b. For Matthews tells us (in Matthew 28) that at the end of the Sabbath, or if you will – Early Easter Sunday Morning - Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb of Jesus.
c. They were not expecting God’s Miracle of Resurrection Grace – they were simply reflecting upon happier times with Jesus, as we do when we eulogize our love ones.
d. And all of sudden, a “great” earthquake occurs. I’m not sure of its measure on the Rector Scale, but if the Bible calls it a “great earthquake”, it was a great earthquake.
e. Afterwards, appeared the Angel of The Resurrection uttering the words, “Do not be afraid, I know that you’re looking for Jesus, but He’s not here; for he has risen”.
****** TAKE 5 BEATS ******
MOVE 2: Then the ladies were instructed (in verse 7) to go quickly and tell Jesus’ Disciples that he is risen from the dead and has gone to Galilee where he will meet them.
a. As instructed, the ladies quickly left the sepulture – running to tell the disciples what they’ve been told, when Jesus met them, saying, “HAIL” or “Peace Be With You,”
b. The Bible says the ladies touched his feet and worshipped him. Afterwards, Jesus told them to Go and tell his brethren to go to Galilee and they will see him”.
c. Then verse 16 says the “Eleven Disciples went away into Galilee
d. …where Jesus had directed them.
e. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted.
f. In other words, in the midst of worshipping the risen Savior – some of his disciples had doubts.