What Does It Mean That Jesus Doubted?
In these waning days of the season of Lent, I've started to turn my thoughts toward what Jesus must have been thinking as he began journeying toward Jerusalem, and ultimately to the Cross.
When you read the Gospel accounts, Jesus seems so resolute in the stories leading up to the Passion. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, his face was "set like flint," meaning he didn't look left, or right---he just kept moving forward toward his destiny.
But yet, when we read of his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood, praying fervently to the Father to find another way to save the world, we see a different picture.
In that moment of struggle and doubt, Jesus' humanity is unashamedly on display. It's one of those moments when we are once again assured that (in the words of the Apostle Paul) is in every way like us, and in every way tempted and tested like us.
I can't tell you how it makes me feel to know that Jesus struggled with God's will and direction for his life, that he doubted and wondered and prayed for an easier path. It fills me with hope to know that the "Author and Finisher" of my faith experienced all of that, and faithfully stepped forward anyway.
Frederick Buechener once wrote that "If there were no room for doubt" in his faith, than "there would be no room for me."
There is not only room for doubt in our faith, there is room for all of our fears, questions, longings and our prayers. In fact, it's through prayer that Jesus came to the place where he could embrace the Father's will above all else.
As you walk on the Lenten path these last few days, may you find courage to keep walking despite your doubts, fears, longings and wondering. May you make prayer your constant practice as you seek the Father's will.
As E. Stanley Jones put it, "In an atmosphere of prayer, fears are not solved so much as dissolved." Let everything that is keeping you from the peace that passes understanding be dissolved and fade away. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.