Why do we believe?
And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. Mt. 28:17
The last part of the sentence of our text is remarkable. For who did they see but the risen Christ? They did not read about him or hear someone else tell them about him, but with their own eyes they saw him, Jesus, risen from the dead! And yet we are told that some of them doubted.
We can sometimes be troubled by the fact that people who are much smarter than we are doubt the things which we believe. Sometimes this might cause us to ask ourselves: why do we believe? Why do we believe that God exists, that Jesus is his Son, and that the Bible is the word of God? In answer to this question, we may point to a multitude of evidences, and we would not be wrong to do so (cf. Jn. 20:31). After all, faith is not built on a vacuum; there are reasons for Christian faith. Biblical faith is not irrational; it is supremely rational in the truest sense of the word.
And yet, at the end of the day, the decisive reason why we believe is not because we are smarter than someone else. Why do we believe? The decisive reason is because God has done a work in our hearts. The ultimate explanation is not what I have found or discovered, but the work of God in enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, renewing our wills, and persuading and enabling us to embrace Jesus Christ as he is set forth for us in the gospel. This is how Paul explained the faith of the Corinthians: "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:23-24).
This is why people may look at indisputable evidence for God's existence or the deity of Christ or the authority of God's word and yet walk away doubting it all. The reason is that we are not objective; we are blinded by sin and Satan, and until God removes the veil of blindness it doesn't matter what we see, we will reject it. Our hearts must be made anew.
But thanks be unto God: he is still in the business of changing hearts. This is why we go out to make disciples, why we go out to fulfill the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20). All power is given unto Christ and he is with his church to the end of the age. He still raises the spiritually dead, gives sight to the blind, and recovers those who are enslaved to Satan.
Why do I believe in Christ? Not because I am smart but because I am saved by the sovereign and amazing grace of God.