Have you ever struggled with doubt? Doubt in the faithfulness of God or if He really loves you or cares or even knows who you are? If you have, let me just say, it’s normal. Everyone doubts God at some point about some thing. In fact, there is a pretty cool story about doubt in John chapter 20. I bet you maybe even have read this story but have never seen this side of it before. Or maybe you have and you are ahead of me, I wouldn’t doubt that!
“Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:1-2
Now, it’s safe to say Mary doubted the words of the Lord. Leading up to the crucifixion Jesus told his disciples 5 times, I am going to Jerusalem, I am going to be Crucified, and I am going to raise from the dead. That would be like me texting you 5 times in a week and telling you on Saturday I am coming over and then when Saturday comes and you answer my knock on the door, you ask, “What are you doing here?”. Dude, I told you 5 times!
“Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.” John 20:3-10
Mary, in her grief goes to Peter and John and says, they have taken the Lord. Peter and John don’t even say anything to her. They take off running, leaving Mary alone. They get to the tomb and see in fact, His body is not there. So, what do they do in verse 10? They go home. Wait, huh? Mary, being left alone at Peter’s house, goes back to the tomb with Peter and John and when she gets there, Peter and John are like, “Yep, He’s gone. We don’t know” and they go home, leaving Mary alone again…
“Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him. She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” John 20:11-15
Mary doesn’t recognize Jesus, because she wasn’t looking for Him. She doubted His words when He said He would rise from the dead.
““Mary!” Jesus said. he turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
Notice how the Lord doesn’t rebuke Mary for her doubt? He doesn’t rebuke Peter or John for their doubt? In fact, He tells Mary to go and tell “My Brothers”. He calls the doubters, His brothers. He commissioned Mary to go and tell. He uses them. So the next time you doubt His love or faithfulness, don’t get down on your self. Keep in mind that Grace covers even our doubts, and remember those who doubted God in John 20 preached the gospel to the world in the rest of the Bible.