About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 28
1 tells us that on the first day of the week, meaning Sunday that “Mary
Magdalene and the other Mary” went to the tomb.
The “other Mary might well have been Mary, of Mary and Martha.
2 tells us that there was another violent earthquake.
This time the quake was brought upon the earth by an angel who came
from Heaven and rolled open the tomb.
So we have an earthquake when Jesus dies, when He rises from the
dead, and when He returns.
tells us that this angel sat on the tomb.
The women obviously saw this.
3 tells us that the appearance of this angel was that he looked as bright
as lightning and his clothes were as white as snow.
Some people have suggested that this angel was Jesus, but I don’t
think so. They say this
because the appearance of the angel resembles that of Jesus as seen in the
book of Revelation. But if this angel was Jesus, I think the text would
say so. Jesus did appear to
some women. The text is clear
verse 4 we see the guards being very afraid.
They shook so much that they appeared to be dead.
Once again, the appearance of angels, especially to unbelieving men
causes great fear. These men
this point some will point out a discrepancy.
Matthew and Mark speak of one angel while Luke speaks of two.
Some suggest that there were two angels but only one speaks, that
is why Matthew and Mark only speak of one.
I think at present is that there were two angels.
One rolled away the stone that spoke, as seen in verse 5.
The other was standing by as seen in Luke. Luke seems to suggest
that both angels were standing by. It’s
quite possible then that the speaking angel left his place on the stone
and went to stand by the other angel.
simple fact of the matter concerning the apparent discrepancies that some
point out in the Bible is this. Not
every little detail is mentioned in Biblical accounts, as with in any
literature. We’ve just got a
very few details. Just think
of all the moment by moment words that would have been said by Jesus, or
by just one person during the three year ministry of Jesus.
Then multiply this by all words said, by all those Jesus came in
contact with. John was write
when in his account he said that there were way too many things to record.
In all of these missing details, the answer is found to these
apparent discrepancies. I have
no problem with minor variations from one account to another due to this
verses 6 through 8 the angel understands that the women were looking for
Jesus in the tomb. He tells
the women that Jesus has risen from the dead as He predicted He would, and
that His followers should return to
8 tells us that the women were both filled with fear and joy upon seeing
the angels and hearing what they said.
This is often the response of those who meet Jesus or any angel.
This will be the response when we meet Jesus face to face at the
end of this age. Great fear
will be upon us because of the awesome nature of Jesus, yet at the same
time we’ll experience joy in a way we’ve never known.
The joy will be from the fact we finally meet Jesus and a new life
will begin for us at that point.
9 tells us that while the women were on their way Jesus appeared to them.
They fell at His feet and worshipped Him.
What else could they have done in a time such as this?
verse 10 Jesus Himself repeats what the angels said.
He wanted to meet His disciples in
this section we see the guards go to the Jewish leaders and tell them that
the tomb is empty. The Jewish
leaders now have a big problem. They
had secured the tomb so the disciples could not steel the body of Jesus,
and now His body has disappeared. In
order to fix this problem they bribed the guards with a large sum of
money. They made up a story
that said the disciples of Jesus stole Jesus’ body while they were
sleeping at night.
course, sleeping on the job would not be a good idea, and that is why the
guards were given the large some of money.
If they had really fell asleep on the job they would have certainly
lost their means of employment.
verse 14 we see the Jewish leaders trying to relieve the guards fear by
saying if all this gets to the governor, they’d look after things.
How they’d do that we don’t really know.
They just promised the guards that they’d make sure they would be
safe, and the guards had to trust the Jews on this one.
Jewish leaders were successful in their attempt of spreading the rumor
that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body, because many years later, as
Matthew penned his account, many people still believed the rumor.
is obvious that satan could not get rid of Jesus.
From the birth of Jesus, to the temptation in the wilderness, and
to Jesus’ death, satan failed in his attempts to get rid of Jesus.
This false rumor was just another attempt by satan to discredit
Jesus and what He had in fact done, and that was to rise from the dead as
He predicted would happen.
16 tells us that Jesus met His disciples on a certain mountain where He
prearranged to meet them. This
must have been strange for the eleven.
Here they would have met with Jesus often over the last three
years, and now after all that had just taken place they were with Him
again. But things were much
different now. I don’t think
we can comprehend how these men must have felt at this moment.
17 tells us that when they saw Jesus, they worshipped Him.
Once again, this is a genuine response to meeting the resurrected
Lord. Yet Matthew tells us
that some “doubted”. We
know that Thomas doubted in the upper room, but he had repented of that
doubt. Now Matthew tells us
that others still doubted, and this was after the upper room appearances
of Jesus. Once again, as
I’ve said before, Thomas gets way too much criticism for his doubts.
Others doubted as well.
we have two responses to the appearance of Jesus here, doubt and worship.
This is typical of human nature.
Some of us doubt, and others of us believe and worship.
Some of us doubt and worship at the same time.
But all doubt was removed from these men at Pentecost, when the
Holy Spirit came to them as was promised by Jesus.
verse 18 we see Jesus coming to the eleven and speaking to them.
He tells them that “all authority in Heaven and on earth” had
been given to Him. Jesus was
the final authority over all things, not just in Heaven, but on earth as
well. As Paul so clearly
states in 1 Cor. 15, Jesus is the centre of all things.
He is the final authority at this point, and will be until all
things are put under His feet. Then
when death, the final enemy of God is subject to Jesus, He’ll come to
His Father and place all things under His feet, and that includes Jesus
is why I’m so “Jesus
orientated” in my thinking, and not simply “God orientated”.
Most Christian speak more of God than they do of Jesus. But in fact
I believe that God wants us to speak more of Jesus, because as Jesus says
here, God has made Him to be the final authority over all things.
Jesus, at present, is the centre of all things.
He’s got the final word. He’s
in charge, and we should recognize Him for that. I do believe that will
change at some future point as Paul says, but until then, we should speak
of Jesus much more than we do.
believe that we think we know a good amount about God, but that is so far
from the truth. God is beyond
our knowing, and that is why He sent Jesus to us.
Jesus, the God-man is much more understandable to us than God ever
19 begins with the word “therefore”.
That means what Jesus is about to say is predicated on what He just
said. So, because Jesus has
the final authority over all there is, He wants these eleven men to go out
and “disciple all
nations”. The NIV says,
“make disciples”, but a word for word translation would speak in terms
of “discipling nations”. I
tend to think this is important. I
don’t think Jesus was telling these men to make their own disciples, as
they were disciples of Him. I
think Jesus was telling them to “disciple people”, that is, teach them
about me. The emphases is not
on producing followers but teaching people, and I might add, teaching them
to be followers of Jesus, not followers of the disciples.
leaders over the centuries have tried to make their own disciples instead
of teaching people to be disciples of Jesus.
This only boosts the self image of the Christian leaders, which is
the tendency of sinful man. Jesus’
point here is for these eleven men to go out into the world and teach
20 tells us what is to be taught. Jesus
says that they should teach all people everywhere to “obey everything He
has commanded them”. The
eleven weren’t to teach their own doctrine or their own ideas.
They were to teach exactly what Jesus taught them.
That’s it. How
we’ve strayed from that.
should also note that the emphases is not simply on people learning about
Jesus, but people “obeying” Jesus once they learned what He taught.
There’s a major difference between the two ideas.
We may like learning about Jesus, but obeying Him, well, we may not
like obeying as much. But
there’s no use in learning, if you don’t intend to obey.
You only get judged worse because you know what to do but don’t.
in verse 19, part of the discipling process is to baptize people.
Jesus basically says that you disciple nations by having them water
baptized and by teaching them to obey me.
This does place some importance on water baptism, and places it at
the beginning days when one first hears the words to obey.
that the water baptism is to be performed in the “name of the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit”. This
is what Jesus commanded. But
look and see what the disciples actually did in the book of Acts.
Most, if not all of what we see the disciples doing is in terms of
the “name of Jesus”. There’s
no discrepancy here. The name
of the Father, Son and Spirit is the same as the name of Jesus, especially
since Jesus is the final authority over all things at this point in time.
There has been way too much debate and argument over this.
There’s no need fore these discussions.
are to do all things in the name of Jesus.
This simply means that we are to represent Jesus in all we do.
As we represent Him, we also represent the Father and the Spirit,
because that is who Jesus represents.
tells us that Jesus told His followers that as He was sent out by the
Father, so He was sending us out into the world.
Jesus represented the Father to the world.
We represent Jesus to the world.
Therefore by the Transitive Law, we represent Father, Son and
Spirit as we represent Jesus.
closes his account with some very comforting words of Jesus.
Jesus says, “surely, I am with you always, even unto the end of
the age”. Who were these words spoken to?
Were they only spoken to the eleven.
No they weren’t, because they did not live unto the end of this
present age. They were spoken
to every believer from that moment onward, unto the very end of the age
comes. These words were spoken
to you and I, those of us who have given our lives to Jesus.
And they were spoken to those who will follow us in the faith,
until the very last person who gives his or her life to Jesus.
Some might suggest that what we’ve called the Great Commission was just spoken to those eleven men, and not to other Christians throughout history. They say this because that was what Jesus was doing. He was specifically speaking to the Eleven. Yet when Jesus speaks of being with them “to the end of the age”, which means to all Christians throughout the age, we must therefore believe that the Great Commission was spoken to all Christians throughout history as well.
This is promise Jesus has given us. He won’t leave us or forsake us. He’ll always be with us through His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Such a very comforting way for Matthew to end his account of our Lord Jesus Christ.