We had a guest speaker at church yesterday; his name is Jesse Rice. I found what he had to share very interesting. His topic involved comparing the faith of Jesus to our faith. Right off the bat this seems strange because I never thought of Jesus as having faith. The writer of Hebrews says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1. But Jesus has seen Heaven, He is God, and He knew what the plan was. Why would He need to have faith? His knowledge was beyond the point of hoping for something – He knew everything.
But the more I think about this I realize that to really understand and empathize with humanity, perhaps He gave up (temporarily) His full knowledge of Heaven and did operate on faith. In looking at that faith, as revealed in scripture, Jesse made four points that were a great blessing to me. I want to just share one here. (If you want to know the others, look Jesse up through my blogroll link to the Church of Facebook and ask him about it.)
The point that blessed me the most was that faith leaves room for doubt, but that it chooses obedience even in the face of doubt. I believe 100% that God is real, that He loves me, that Jesus died for my sins, that I am saved by Grace, and that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God with the power to change hearts. But sometimes I doubt whether I have made the right choices based on God’s Word. Sometimes I doubt whether God has the ability to make His plan come to fruition when we humans keep screwing up and not doing the right thing. Apparently, Jesus doubted sometimes, too. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus doubted whether the plan for Him to be crucified was the only way. Nonetheless, He was obedient.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”Matthew 26:39-42.
Again on the cross Jesus expressed doubt. “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi,lama sabachthani?’—which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”‘” Matthew 27:46. He doubted, if only for a brief moment, that God was still on His side. I imagine at this point, if He had called to them, the angels of Heaven would have come to His rescue, their hearts broken because of His anguish. But in spite of His doubt, He cried out to God in faith.
So I suppose if Jesus could doubt sometimes, it’s okay if I do. But nonetheless I try my best to be obedient in spite of the doubt, to remain faithful and keep hoping that everything will turn out as God has planned. It is such a blessing to know that Jesus understands my doubt, and His Holy Spirit helps me remain faithful in spite of it.