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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
In this chapter, Matthew tells us of the resurrection of Jesus, and of the Lord Jesus giving the Great Commission to His apostles . . . and us!.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ rests upon two great pillars: #1. the death of Christ Jesus, and #2. the resurrection of Christ Jesus. 1 Cor. 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (KJV)
In chapter 27, we saw the death and burial of the Lord Jesus, and in this chapter we will see His resurrection. BOTH are very essential to your salvation and mine. Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (KJV) . . . My friend, He (Jesus) was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor.5:21).
The exceptional and matchless FACT of the Gospel is the Resurrection of Christ Jesus. Other religions record the death of their leaders, but only Christianity records the Resurrection of its Organizer. ALL the other religious leaders are dead. Only Jesus is alive. This is a major and vital fact for us to know and understand.
None of the Gospel writers give the complete details concerning the Resurrection. Each writer records that story of the Resurrection from their point of view, which adds to the purpose which the Spirit had in mind. So therefore, the four Gospels present a unified picture. No writer gives the complete record but only that which serves his purpose. All the Gospel accounts should be put together to get the total picture, and no conflict or contradiction will appear among them.
When we take the order of events, and combine the four stories, we have what follows: Three women, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, start for the tomb, followed by other women bringing spices. The three women find the stone rolled away, and Mary Magdalene goes to tell the disciples (Luke 23:55 through Luke 24:9; and John 20:1-2). Mary, the mother of James and Joses, draws nearer the tomb and sees the angel of the Lord (Mat.28:2). She goes back to meet the other women who followed them with the spices. During this time period, Peter and John, who were warned by Mary Magdalene, arrive at the tomb, look in, and go away (Jn.20:3-10). Mary Magdalene returns to the tomb weeping, sees the two angels and then she sees Jesus (Jn.20:11-18), and goes as He told her to tell the apostles. Meanwhile, Mary (the mother of James and Joses), have met the women with the spices and, returning with them to the tomb, they see the two angels Mk.16:5; Lk.24:4). They also receive the message from the angels, and, going to seek the disciples, are met by Jesus (Mat.28:8-10).
The order of our Lord's appearances would seem to be: On the day of His resurrection: #1. To Mary Magdalene (Jn.20:14-18). #2. To the women returning from the tomb with the angelic message (Mat.28:8-10). #3. To Peter, perhaps in the afternoon (Lk.24:34; 1 Cor.15:5). #4. To the Emmaus disciples toward evening (Lk.24:13-31). #5. To the apostles, except Thomas (Lk.24:36-43; Jn.20:19-24).
Then eight days later: #1. To the apostles, in Galilee, Thomas being present (Jn.20:24-29).
In Galilee: #1. To the seven by the Lake of Tiberias (Jn.21:1-23). #2. On a mountain, to the apostles and five hundred brethren (1 Cor.15:6).
At Jerusalem and Bethany again: #1. To James (1 Cor.15:7. #2. To the eleven (Mat.28:16-20; Mk.16:14-20; Lk.24:33-53; Acts 1:3-12).
To Paul: #1. Near Damascus (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Cor.15:8). #2. In the temple (Acts 22:17-21; Acts 23:11).
To Stephen, outside Jerusalem (Acts 7:55).
To John on Patmos (Rev.1:10-19).
Matthew presents Jesus as the King. The features of the resurrection story he gives contain the element of the spectacular and sensational. It is like a fanfare of trumpets in the account given by Matthew. He was born a King. He lived as a King. He died a King, and He rose from the dead an eternal King. Matthew tells of the earthquake, of the angel's descent from Heaven, of the stone rolled away from the tomb, of the terrified guards, and of the effort by the evil religious rulers to cover up the fact of the empty tomb.
When we compare Luke's Gospel with Matthew's account, there is softness and subdued tone which characterizes Luke's purpose. The women come in the stillness of the early morning, and the stone is already rolled away. The Lord Jesus appears to two unknown disciples on an obscure road leading to Emmaus and then to the disciples in a secret room of a house of unknown address. Luke records the human story while Matthew presents Jesus in His Kingly office. Both records are accurate and true, as are the records in the other two Gospels, but they are just presented to us from four different viewpoints. There is no conflict, no contradictions.
The Two Marys Come To The Tomb (Matthew 28:1-7)
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. (KJV)
In the end of the Sabbath . . . the word end here means after the Sabbath.
As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week . . . as the first day approached. It does not specify the exact time. Mark 16:1-2 says, that it was after "the Sabbath was past, and very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun." Not that the sun was risen, but that it was about to rise, or at the early break of day. Luke 24:1 says, that "it was very early," and John 20:1says, it was "early, when it was yet dark.” The first day of the week is Sunday, the day which is observed by Christians as their day of worship. The Jews observed the seventh day of the week or our Saturday as their Sabbath.
Came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary . . . from Mary Magdalene, Jesus had cast out seven devils (Mk.16:9). Grateful for His great mercy, she was one of His most faithful followers, and was the first at the sepulcher, and was first permitted to see the risen Lord. The other Mary was not the mother of Jesus, but the mother of James and Joses (Mk.16:1). Mark says that Salome attended them. Salome was the wife of Zebedee, and the mother of James and John. From Luke 24:10, it appears that Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, (Lk.8:3), was with them. These four women, Mark says, brought sweet spices, to anoint Him. They had prepared a part of them on the evening before the Sabbath (Lk.23:56). John mentions only Mary Magdalene. He does this probably because his object was to give a particular account of her interview with the risen Saviour. There is NO contradiction among the writers. While one writer mentions only the names of only a part of those who were there, he does not deny that others were present also.
To see the sepulchre . . . to see whether it was as is had been left on the evening when He was laid there; to see if the stone was still there, by which they would know that He had not been removed. Mark and Luke say that the design of their coming was to anoint Him with the sweet spices which they had prepared. Matthew does not mention that, but he does not deny that that was the ultimate design of their coming. It is not unlikely that they might have known the manner in which He was buried, with a large quantity of myrrh and aloes. But that was done in haste; it was done by depositing the myrrh and aloes, without mixture or preparation, in the grave-clothes. They came, that they might embalm His body more precisely, or at least that they might complete the work of embalming. They came not just to see the tomb, for they had seen it before, but to see whether they could enter into it, and anoint the body with the spices and ointments, which they had prepared and brought with them for that purpose.
Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. (KJV)
And behold there was a great earthquake . . . I think this probably means that there had been one. It does not mean that this happened while they were there, but that there had been such violent a commotion. This does not say that the earthquake moved the stone away from the door, as some think, because in the very next words, Matthew tells us it was the angel who rolled back the stone.
For the angel of the Lord descended from heaven . . . was this Gabriel, who brought the news of the conception of Christ to the virgin, and of His incarnation to the shepherds? Or could it have been the same angel that strengthened Jesus in the garden? (Lk.22:43). We do not know. We are not told. All good angels are of the Lord! Neither is this a contradiction to the other writers, which speak of two angels (Lk.24:4; Jn.20:12) . . . because Matthew does NOT say there were no more than one, even though he mentions only one.
And came and rolled back the stone from the door . . . this angel, whoever he was, rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb, which was placed there by Joseph, and was sealed by the Jews. A question: Why was it necessary for the angel to roll back the stone? Was it to let Jesus out? NO! The tomb was not opened to let Him out . . . but rather to let them in. His risen Body could easily have passed right through that stone (Jn.20:19; Acts 12:10). And too, He could have caused the stone to move Himself. Nothing was or is impossible for the Lord Jesus! I think the angel, was a symbol of the release and discharge of Christ Jesus, as the security of His people. Jesus had taken upon Himself their sins; He had endured them in His Body on the tree; He had suffered and died for them, and was laid as a vile prisoner in someone else’s grave. Now full satisfaction was being made, an angel is sent from Heaven to roll away the stone; thereby indicating, that the sin debt was fully paid, and He was now legally discharged. It is added,
And sat upon it . . . the angel sat on the stone. This too, is NOT a contradiction to the other writers. John says: “two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain” (Jn.20:12). Matthew does not say there was just one angel, there could have been two. And they could have sat where the Body of Jesus had been. Neither does Matthew say that the angel was sitting when he appeared to the women. It seems from Luke’s words, they appeared to be standing (Lk.24:4).
It seems to me that the earthquake was a symbol of the shaking of the Earth by the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the sound of which would now to go to the ends of the world; and a prelude of the general resurrection, when all the Earth shall be shaken, and all the graves opened, and the dead would come forth. It could also be a symbol and sign of the Presence and majesty of Christ, at whose rising, as at His death, the Earth shook and trembled.
What happened to the “watch”? Were they asleep? They must have been according to verse 13. “His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.”
Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: (KJV)
His countenance was like lightning . . . there was such a shine and brightness in the angel's face, that it flashed like lightning. See what Daniel says (Dan.10:6).
And his raiment white as snow . . . the angel appeared clothed in white, as a token of the purity and innocence of his nature; and because of the victory and triumph of Christ over death and the grave; and that he might be thought by the women to be a good angel. It was a common idea of the Jews, that ministering angels were clothed in white.
Matthew 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. (KJV)
And for fear of him the keepers did shake . . . although they were Roman soldiers who had seen the terrible sights in the field of battle, men of courage, with no fear of danger . . . yet now panic overtook them, and they shook and trembled at the sight of that angel. I guess they were afraid that he was come as an executioner of Almighty God’s vengeance on them. They had been at the crucifixion of Christ, had watched Him as He hung on the cross. And now with His Body in the sepulcher, and they had no consciousness of guilt or dread of punishment from Him . . . yet such was the glory and majesty in which the angel appeared, of which they had never ever seen anything like him before, nothing had ever had this effect on them.
And became as dead men . . . they turned pale, as dead men, and scarcely had any life left in them.
Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (KJV)
And the angel answered and said unto the women . . . they too were also frightened at the sight of the angel. Was it just the two women (Mat.28:1)? From the other writers it appears, that there were more than two (Mk.16:1; Lk.24:10).
Fear not ye . . . these were good women who had no reason to be afraid, but these good women were frightened, for it was very common with gracious persons to be filled with fear at the sight of an angel, such as Zacharias (Lk.1:12), and the shepherds (Lk.2:9).
For I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified . . . the knowledge that angels have of saints is considerable, which comes from their frequent care and guardianship of them, the good offices they perform, and their many helps to them.
This was not on the outside of the tomb, for Matthew does not say that the angel appeared to the women then, but only to the keepers. Mark says, "entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment" Mk.16:6). Luke says "They entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And as they were much perplexed thereabout behold, two men stood by them in shining garments" (Lk.24:3-4). When they saw the stone rolled away, and the sepulcher open, they nervously entered into it, to see if the Body was there. It was gone, and there they saw the angels, who gave them information regarding His resurrection.
Infidels (unbelievers) have objected that there are three inconsistencies in the accounts by Mark and Luke:
#1. Mark says the angel was sitting, and Luke says they were standing. Consider: in Luke, it does not necessarily mean that they stood, but only that they were present. Or it could be that the one that Mark mentions was sitting when they entered, and then arose.
#2. Luke mentions two, but Mark and Matthew only one. Consider:Mark mentions the one who spoke; for it cannot be supposed they both spoke the same thing. He does not deny that another was present with him. Luke affirms that there was. This way of speaking is not infrequent. Thus Mark and Luke mention only one demoniac who was cured at Gadara. Matthew mentions two. In like manner, Mark and Luke speak of only one blind man who was cured at Jericho, while from Matthew it is certain that two were there. The fact that just one is mentioned, where it is not denied that there were others does not prove that there could not be others.
#3. Matthew calls this an angel; Mark and Luke a man. Consider: Angels, in the Scriptures, when appearing in the form of men, are often called as they appear, and are mentioned as men (Gen.18:2,16,22; 19:1,5).
Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (KJV)
He is not here . . . in the grave, where He was laid, and where these women saw Him laid. He was dead, but now He is alive! He was laid in the grave, but God would not leave Him there, nor suffer Him to see corruption (Ps.16:10).
For he is risen, as he said . . . He was NOT stolen away, as the chief priests hired the soldiers to say that He was . . . nor was He removed to another place, as Mary Magdalene first thought, when she found Him gone. He was risen from the dead, by the power of His Father, and by His own power, just exactly as He had before said He would.
Come see the place where the Lord lay . . . not the sepulcher, but the specific spot where the Body was laid. They had already entered the sepulcher and seen that the Body was gone (Lk.24:3-4). The angel now invites them to examine the spot marked, as we learn from John 20:7, by the napkin, which had been around His Head, it lying in one place, and the linen clothes in another. The presence of these grave-clothes confirms the statement that He had risen, for had He been carried away they would certainly NOT have left behind His clothes. We must remember that the sepulcher was not a narrow grave, but a cavity of considerable size. At this time, it seems there were several women and two visible angels were moving about. The Lord . . . is Lord, BOTH of angels and men! Christ, as the Son of God, lay in the bosom of His Father (Jn.1:18), and in the Arms of His love, from all eternity. As Mediator, He was always in God's purposes and decrees, being His elect, in whom His soul delighted.
Matthew 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. (KJV)
And go quickly and tell his disciples . . . who were mourning and weeping for the death of Christ; despairing of His resurrection, or at least, with little hope, or much thought, even though Christ had often told them of it. News of His being raised would remove their sorrow, revive their faith, and relieve their souls. This was the errand these women were sent to do . . . to be precise,
That he is risen from the dead . . . nothing else could be more joyful news to them, as it is to all believers, for on His resurrection rests the justification and salvation of God's elect; their security from condemnation, and their hope of resurrection from the dead. This news was first brought to the apostles by women, who were greatly honored by it.
And behold he goeth before you into Galilee . . . these are still the words of the angel to the women, telling them what they should say to the apostles, that He would go before them into Galilee; and which would serve to confirm the resurrection to them, and to give the greater credit to the report of the women, since this very thing Christ had promised them before (Mat.26:32).
There shall ye see him . . . although this may chiefly mean the apostles, who would see Christ in Galilee, yet may include these women too.
Lo! I have told you . . . was it Gabriel speaking? We are not told.
Matthew 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. (KJV)
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy. . . there was "fear and great joy" which made them very excited, and gave swiftness to the feet of the women as they ran to tell the news to the apostles. Never before had any message burned within the heart of man or woman (Mk.16:8). They were terrified and scared, but as is added here. Fear and great joy . . . a mixture of both; with fear and dread, because of what they had seen, and with joy at the news of Christ's resurrection.
And did run to bring his disciples word . . . as Mary Magdalene ran to Peter (Jn.20:2). Running not unusual for women, or unbecoming to them on certain occasions (Gen.24:20,28; 29:12). Their fear, as well as their joy, and their regard to the angel's order, might cause them to run, and make the quicker dispatch.
Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. (KJV)
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them: saying, All hail . . . as they went, Jesus met them. This was when they left the sepulcher the second time. Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, when alone (Jn.20:14). Afterwards He appeared to the other women, as related by Matthew. All hail. This is a term of salutation. The meaning of the world "hail" here, is rejoice; a term of greeting connected with the idea of joy . . . joy at His resurrection, and at meeting them again.
And they came . . . near to him, being encouraged by His greeting, and knowing who He was by His voice, habit, and gesture.
And held him by the feet . . . threw themselves prostrate before Him, which was the usual position of pleas (2 Ki.2:15; 4:27,37). It does not necessarily mean that they took hold of His Feet, although they could have, but only that they cast themselves down before Him. They threw themselves prostrate at His Feet, a sign of reverence and humility; and if they took hold of His Feet, it was because they might be assured that He really was risen, and that this was not a spirit, or a mere appearance. They held Him because of their affection for Him, and wanting Him to stay with them.
And worshipped him . . . (Mat.8:2) with loving adoration, expressing their love to Him; their faith and hope in Him, believing, accepting and owning Him to be their Lord and God. He being, by His resurrection from the dead, declared to be the Son of God, with power; and so was/is the proper Object of our religious worship. With power: (Mat.24:30; Mk.9:1; 13:26; Lk.4:32,36; 21:27; Acts 10:38; Rom.1:4).
Worship means to give the honor and respect due to the Messiah risen from the dead; for He certainly was/is entitled to the honor which was due to Almighty God, agreeing with John 5:23.
Matthew 28:10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (KJV)
Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid . . . the ancients, when in the presence of a heavenly being, an angel, or one who was supposed to be possessed of Divine power, were usually struck with great fear, and too, a great sense of their unworthiness (Lk.5:8; Judg.6:22-23; 13:21-22). These women were also greatly alarmed when they saw Jesus, believing Him now to be, an extraordinarily Divine Being; seeing He has returned from the state of the dead; and without a doubt, overwhelmed with a new awareness that they were really unworthy to be in His Presence. Jesus comforted them, assuring them that He was the same Jesus with whom they had been before His death; and they had no reason now to fear Him.
Go tell my brethren . . . There is something especially tender in the word used here, "my brethren" (Heb.2:11). Although He was risen from the dead . . . and although about to be exalted to Heaven . . . He did not hesitate to call His disciples His brethren. This was intended to still further calm the fears of the women, and stimulate them with confidence.
That they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me . . . Galilee was the northern part of the land. It was there that the Saviour began His ministry; and it was there, away from the noise and confusion of the city, that He wanted again to meet them, retreating in quietness, to give proof to them of His resurrection, and to commission them to go forth and preach the everlasting Gospel (Mat.28:19-20).
The interview with the women was brief. The women identify Him, He repeats the message already given by the angel about the meeting in Galilee, He instantly disappears, and then the women hurry on their errand, all the more excited than before.
Excuse Of The Soldiers (Matthew 28:11-15)
Matthew 28:11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. (KJV)
Now when they were going . . . they, the women, Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, and their companions. When they were going, before they came to the apostles, to tell them of what they had seen and heard, and deliver the message, of both the angel, and of Christ Jesus, to them.
Behold, some of the watch came unto the city . . . the watch is the soldiers; the city is Jerusalem. The word "behold" is left out of some versions, but I think should be kept as expressing something worthy of our attention; that being: the very persons who were placed to prevent anything that might be the base of a report, that Christ was risen, should be the first persons that would tell it to the chief priests and elders, that employed them.
And showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done . . . told the chief priests that there had been a very great earthquake, and a very amazing appearance; one like a young man descended from the clouds, whose countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow, which filled them all with astonishment and dread. He rolled away the stone from the sepulcher, and then sat on it; and that some women coming to the sepulcher, were shown by him where the Body of Jesus had been laid, but was now gone. And how, after they had recovered themselves from the terror, they had themselves examined the sepulcher, and the Body was most certainly gone; and they were sure that the women did not carry it away, nor anyone else . . . all this they thought it proper to tell to the chief priests.
Matthew 28:12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, (KJV)
And when they were assembled with the elders . . . when the chief priests gathered with the elders, and the grand Sanhedrim was convened together, which consisted of the chief priests, Scribes, and elders . . .
And had taken counsel . . . to decide among themselves what steps to take to stifle or suppress this matter, that it might not spread and be believed by the people; they agreed the best way was to bribe the soldiers to give a false account of it, as they did.
They gave large money unto the soldiers . . . much money was given to bribe them; to persuade them to conceal the truth. This was no doubt a very hurried gathering of such chief priests and elders as those who were nearby, and did not include Joseph and Nicodemus, who would be not be in favor of such wickedness.
Matthew 28:13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. (KJV)
Saying, say ye his disciples came by night . . . they commanded them to tell everyone that should ask them about this affair; and even publish it everywhere, that the disciples of Christ came in the dead of the night,
And stole him away while we slept . . . the object of the chief priests, as is common with evil men everywhere, who persist in crime, was to keep their dirty deed hidden from the eyes of men . . . this being that they had put to death an innocent Man. They were totally ignorant of the power and wrath of God, and they proceeded to still further inflame His divine wrath by putting a lie into the lips of the soldiers and hiring them to broadcast it.
While we slept . . . the story was absolutely false. It was an affirmation as to what was done, and by whom it was done, while they were asleep. It is impossible, even had they been asleep, that enough men could have walked up to the tomb, rolled away the great stone, and carried the Body away, without waking at least some of the guards, who were stationed around the door of the tomb for the precise purpose of preventing the removal of the Body.
Matthew 28:14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. (KJV)
And if this come to the governor's ears . . . not the governor of the watch, but Pontius Pilate the governor of Judea. If this would be told to him, or if this matter should come before him, there would be great danger of punishment; for to sleep on the watch was severely punished by the Romans.
We will persuade him . . . that this is the truth of the case, and intercede with him, not to punish it. They would persuade him, that although this is a false account, yet it will be much better that it should go in this way, for his own peace, and the peace of the nation, and the security of the Roman government. For if it should spread among the people, that this Person was really raised from the dead, they all would believe that He was the true Messiah, and would set Him up as a King, and seize the government in favor of Him.
And will secure you . . . insure you, keep you from punishment; so that you need not be worried or concern yourself on this account.
Matthew 28:15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (KJV)
So they took the money, and did as they were taught . . . although they had just been through the greatest terror and bewilderment imaginable, at the sight of the angel, and knew what was done . . . yet being men of no conscience, were tempted with the money, and took it, and reported everywhere what had been put into their mouths by the chief priests and elders.
And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews unto this day . . . some say that Matthew wrote this Gospel about the 8th or 9th year after our Lord's ascension, while others say the 15th year afterwards. This lying story was known to the Jews, and commonly reported by them; although some say this was believed among the Jews in common, to that time, that the disciples of Christ really did come in the night, and steal away the Body of Christ, while the watch slept. To such judicial blindness, and hardness of heart, were they given up, as to believe a lie, and which had NO truth in it whatsoever. We knew a Jewish man years ago, and He agreed with this. He told us “You stole Him.”
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)
In our modern society, there are two opposing viewpoints regarding the so-called Great Commission. Our Lord's commission to His apostles as recorded by Matthew is a source of controversy. One group thinks that the Great Commission contains the only command for the church, and they hang on to it. The other group thinks that it has NO importance for our day and that it should be excluded from the church program.
I have tried to show that Matthew’s Gospel applies to us in our time, and without a doubt, I certainly think that the Great Commission applies to us in our day. I do think that it will find a final and full meaning in the future.
It is clear that Matthew did not give the total record of the Resurrection, nor did he give us the complete commission. I think that everything our Lord said on ANY subject should be joined together and seen as a composite, in order to give us an understanding for the present day as well as for the future. The Commission in Matthew should be considered with the commission recorded in the other Gospel records and especially with the following. Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (KJV) . . . My dear friend, we are to be His witnesses, and we are to be endued with power from on high.
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. (KJV)
Then the eleven disciples . . . Judas was not only gone from them, he was now dead; so that there were now just eleven of them.
Went away into Galilee . . . as soon as the women had brought their message; for Christ appeared to them the same day at Jerusalem; and also at the same place that week (Jn.20:19,26). It seems that after this they went together into Galilee, according to Christ's direction both before and after His resurrection.
Into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them . . . this appointment is recorded in Matthew 26:32. On what particular mountain this was is not known. Some seem to think it was Mount Tabor. It is probable that Jesus, when He made the appointment, specified the place, which has been omitted by the Gospel writers. Matthew has omitted many appearances which Jesus made to His apostles, which have been recorded by Luke, John and Paul.
Matthew 28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. (KJV)
And when, they saw him, they worshipped him . . . with divine adoration, as the eternal Son of God; for so He was now declared to be by His resurrection from the dead (Rom.1:4).
But some doubted . . . some of the eleven apostles had doubted, but now that Christ was risen from the dead and He had appeared several times to them before this, and had given them all the proofs of the truth of His resurrection they could desire; they no longer doubted but instead they worshipped Him. They had doubted before in Jerusalem; not only Thomas, but probably all of them, until they saw Him with their own eyes, they looked at the words of the women as idle tales; and neither did they believe the two disciples, with whom Christ travelled to Emmaus (Lk.24:13) . . . therefore He rebukes them for their unbelief (Lk.24:11; Mk.16:11,13,14). Although they now believed Christ was risen from the dead, of which they had had the strongest assurance; yet they doubted whether what they then saw on the mountain was the Lord Jesus, or whether it was a spirit, or a mere ghost.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (KJV)
And Jesus came and spake unto them . . . to the eleven apostles. IF there were more than the apostles there at this time, I think that the following words were only spoken to the apostles. Jesus was speaking to His apostles and those who would later follow after them, so these words are passed down to ALL born again believers today.
Saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth . . . The Son of God, as Creator, had an original right to all things, to control them and dispose of them (Jn.1:3; Col.1:16-17; Heb.1:8). But the Universe is put under Him exclusively as Mediator, that He might redeem His people, that He might put together a church in His Name, that He might defend His chosen, that He might subdue all their enemies, and make them than conquerors (Eph1:20-23; 1 Cor.15:25-27; Jn.5:22-23; Phil.2:6-11). It is in reference to all this, no doubt, that He speaks here . . . power or authority committed to Him over ALL things, that He might redeem, defend, and save the saints purchased with His own Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19). His power as Mediator extends over ALL the material world, over all angels, over all devils, over all wicked men, and over all His own people. His Power: (Ps.2:6; 89:19; 110:1-3; Isa.9:6-7; Dan.7:14; Mat.11:27; Lk.1:32; Jn.17:2; Rom.14:9; Eph.1:20-21; Heb.2:8; 1 Pet.3:22; Rev.11:15).
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (KJV)
Go ye therefore . . . into all the world; some into one place, and some into another. With His power and authority, He now gives them this commission . . . it was to reach everywhere . . . whereas before it was confined to the Jews (Mat.10:6-7), but now it is extended to ALL the nations of the world (Mk16:15).
And teach all nations . . . Jews AND Gentiles were to be taught the doctrines of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it. They were to teach whatever they had learned from Christ Jesus, or were ordered by Him. They were to make them disciples of Christ by teaching them.
Baptizing them . . . baptizing them in water, as a symbol of the purifying influences of the Gospel through the Holy Spirit, and solemnly devoting them to God.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost . . . by the authority of these three divine Persons, who all appeared, and testified of their approval of the administration of this ordinance, at the baptism of Christ (Mat.3:16-17). Therefore this is a confirmation of the doctrine of the Trinity, that there are three Persons, but ONE Name, and ONE God, into which believers are baptized. This too is a proof of the true deity both of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And that Christ Jesus, as the Son of God, IS God! Since baptism is administered equally in the Name of all three Persons of the Trinity, as a religious ordinance, is a part of divine worship, which would never be in the name of a creature.
To be baptized in the Name of the Son, is to receive Him as the Messiah . . . our Prophet, Priest, and King; to submit to His laws, and to receive Him as the Saviour of our soul. To be baptized in the Name of the Holy Ghost is to receive Him publicly as the Sanctifier, Comforter, and Guide of our soul. It seems to me that the meaning then, is this: Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, is a solemn profession of the only TRUE religion, and by a solemn devotion to the service of the sacred Trinity.
To unite these three Names in the form of baptism proves that the Son and Holy Ghost are equal with the Father.
This will really apply during the Great Tribulation period and even during the Millennium . . . but, my friend, it also applies to us today.
"Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [Spirit]" . . . baptism by water in the Name of the Trinity has been practiced by the church from its beginning. Even Paul, who was not sent to baptize (1 Cor.1:14-17), practiced this rite of the early church. "The name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [Spirit]" is evidence of the Trinity of the Godhead.
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV)
Teaching them to observe all things . . . all ordinances, not only baptism, but the Lord's Supper; all moral duties; all obligations, both to God and men; all duties that respect the world, or one another. These are to be taught to them, and not just that they may know them, and have the idea of them, but that they may put them into practice. Teaching is part of the work of the church (Eph.4:11). The teachings of Jesus are found not only in the Gospels but also in the Epistles (1 Thes.4:2).
Whatsoever I have commanded you . . . everything that Christ has commanded, and NOTHING else! Christ Jesus’ ministers and teachers are absolutely NOT to teach any doctrines that are the commandments of men (Mat.15:9; Mk.7:7). Jesus’ commands only . . . NOT commands of other men's devising that was never ordered by the Lord.
And lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world . . . the word rendered world, here, sometimes means age or state; and some think it means, I will be with you until the end of this age, or to the destruction of Jerusalem. I cannot see it that way. The Presence of Christ was no less necessary after that than before. His presence is NOT limited to the Promise to that age. These words are to be considered as a gracious Promise to assist, strengthen, guide and defend His apostles then . . . AND His disciples down through the ages, especially His pastors and teachers, to the end of time. I am with you: (Mat.18:20; Isa.43:2). Never forsake thee: (Gen.28:15; Deut.31:6,8; Josh.1:5; 1 Sam.12:22; 1 Chron.28:20; Ps.37:25,28; Isa.41:10,17; 43:2; Mat.28:20; Heb.13:5).
We have seen the Great Commission. What about the great omission? Matthew has omitted the ascension of Christ Jesus from his Gospel. There is NO ascension of Christ here. WHY? The apparent reason is that the Kingdom of Christ will be here on this Earth, so it seems that Matthew decides to leave the King here on Earth, because this is where the King will be. Luke 24:49-53 and Acts 1:6-11 records the ascension of Christ. At the time of the rapture of the church (1 Thes.4:13-18), the Lord Jesus will take His own out of the world to be with Him, and the ascension is vital for that event.
Matthew writes his Gospel, with Jesus as the King. Jesus was born a King. He lived as a King. He died as a King. He rose again as a King. And, dear one, He will be coming again to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords! (Rev.19:16). I hope and pray that you will bow to Him today. But if you refuse to do it now, you shall one day in the future (Isa.45:23; Rom.14:11; Phil.2:10). Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (KJV)
Christianity is strongly grounded on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Below is a list the resurrection appearances, as recorded in the Bible:
#1. Jesus first appears to Mary Magdalene, shortly after his resurrection. (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18).
#2. Jesus appears to the women returning from the empty tomb. (Matthew 28:8-10).
#3. Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35).
#4. He appears to Peter. (Luke 24:34, 1 Cor.15:5).
#5. He appears to His disciples, in Jerusalem, Thomas is absent. (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23).
#6. Jesus again appears to His disciples, in Jerusalem. Thomas is present. (John 20:24-29).
#7. To seven apostles by the Galilean Sea (John 21:1-2)
#8. Jesus is seen by 500 believers at one time. (1 Cor.15:6).
#9. He appears to James. (1 Cor.15:7). #10. He appears to His disciples on a mountain in Galilee. (Matthew 28:16-20).
#11. He appears to His disciples, blesses them, and ascends into Heaven. (Luke 24:50-53).
#12. He appears to Paul, on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Cor.15:8).
Gospel of Matthew
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