When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. —Matthew 28:17
It is very easy for us to think that if only we could see Jesus we would believe and worship. Yet when we look at Jesus’ resurrection appearances, this verse says that “some doubted.” How could this have happened? How could anybody doubt when they are seeing? “Seeing is believing,” it is often said, but here were some who saw but still doubted.
It is the Spirit of God who reveals Jesus and gives us the eyes to see as those first believers saw with their physical eyes. The more we have of the Spirit, the more we will see and feel what they felt.
C. H. Spurgeon used to say that the less we have of the Spirit, the more we will need to see physical things to inspire us. On the other hand, when we truly worship by the impulse of the Spirit, there is little need to have a lot of visual aids.
Even when Moses saw the burning bush, he was not allowed to get close or look for very long (Exod. 3:4-5). The Holy Spirit gave Peter the vision on the roof in Caesarea, but again, what was seen was upstaged by what was heard: “What God has cleansed, that call not thou common” (Acts 10:15, KJV). Therefore, even a vision, if one be so blessed by God, is not an end in itself, but the means by which the Word of God is magnified.
The ability to see with our spirit what God is doing and to hear with our inward ear what God is saying is God’s gift to us. Some people can see more quickly than others what God is up to. It’s not necessarily that the others are being rebellious or digging in their heels; they are just sincerely not sure. Does Jesus slap their wrist? No. He calls attention to what He is in Himself: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” He just continues to speak. All we must do is continue to give all our attention to Jesus.
Excerpted from Worshipping God (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004).