The Pharisees did not doubt Jesus because they merely disagreed with Him. They doubted Jesus because they were hardened against Him.
Doubt is a matter of the mind. Even Christians have moments of doubt. We don’t always understand what God is doing or why He is doing it. Unbelief, in contrast, is a matter of the will. It is a choice we make.
The Pharisees were full of unbelief. They did not reject Jesus for lack of evidence or because He was not consistent with what He said. The fact is that Jesus was the perfect example. Even Pontius Pilate, who had examined countless people, said, “I find no fault in this Man” (Luke 23:4 nkjv), and “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person” (Matthew 27:24 nkjv). Judas Iscariot, who spent three concentrated years with Jesus and betrayed Him said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4 nkjv). So Jesus clearly was a model of everything that He said.
The Pharisees rejected Jesus because it interfered with the way they wanted to live. And that is why people reject Him today. Jesus said, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19–20 nkjv).
People don’t reject Jesus because they have carefully examined the evidence and have determined that it is not convincing enough. They don’t reject Him because they have read through the Scriptures and have found some apparent contradiction. They don’t reject Him because of the so-called hypocrisy of some in the church. They reject Him because He interferes with the way they want to live.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!