Wow! It’s been 8 months since my first post, and we have finally come to the conclusion of the book of Matthew. Admittedly the Bible studies have not attracted the kind of activity and interaction I had first envisioned, but I can certainly say that I have been blessed enormously through creating them.
With a new addition to the family and my embarking on a business venture, it is with a heavy heart that I will be putting dailybiblestudy.com.au on the side until I can dedicate more time to creating more exciting, relevant content.
When I do recommence writing, I hope to create Bible studies on a topic very close to my heart: marriage. If you would like to be notified when the first of the series is published, visit https://www.facebook.com/dailybiblestudy.com.au and click “Like!”
Thank you for visiting and God bless!
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This commission that follows is given in light of the authority of Jesus. This indicates that this is an authoritative command, not a suggestion. It is the same idea as if an officer reminded a private of his rank before he gave the order. Because He has this authority, He can send whomever He wills to do whatever He pleases.
Because Jesus has this authority we are therefore commanded to go. It is His authority that sends us, His authority that guides us, and His authority that empowers us. His work and message would continue to the world through His disciples.
The command is to make disciples, not merely converts or supporters of a cause. The idea behind the word disciples is of scholars, learners, or students.
In His previous ministry, Jesus deliberately restricted His work to the Jewish people (Matthew 15:24) and previously sent His disciples with the same restriction (Matthew 10:6). Only on rare exceptions did Jesus minister among the Gentiles (Matthew 15:21-28). Now all of that is in the past, and the disciples are commissioned to take the gospel to all the nations. There is no place on earth where the gospel of Jesus should not be preached and were disciples should not be made.
Significantly, when Jesus told them to go to all the nations, He did not tell them to circumcise those who became disciples. Instead, they were to baptize them, suggesting the break with traditional Judaism.
Disciples are made through teaching. This teaching is not with words only, but with the power of the always-present Jesus. He will be present with His people until the job of making disciples is done – until the end of the age.
Jesus sent His disciples with a mission to fulfill, but He did not send them alone. The promise of His constant presence was more than enough to strengthen and guide the disciples as they obeyed Jesus in making disciples of all the nations.
Which aspect of these verses prompts you most for change?
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
This cover-up attempt shows the darkness of these priests. They knew the truth of the resurrection, yet they rejected that truth.
We sometimes sing: “You ask me how I know He lives; He lives, He lives inside my heart.” But that is not the best way to prove Jesus lives. He lives because the historical evidence demands we believe in the resurrection of Jesus. If we can believe anything in history, we can believe the reliable, confirmed testimony of these eyewitnesses. Jesus rose from the dead.
How does factual knowledge of historical events add to your faith?
28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The fact of the resurrection is clear enough. We must also grapple with the meaning of the resurrection. Simply, Jesus’ resurrection proved that His death was an actual propitiation for sin and that the Father had accepted it as such. The cross was the payment, the resurrection the receipt, proving that the payment was fully accepted.
What is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection in our faith?
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
This shows that both the Jewish leaders and the Romans were well aware of the need to guard the tomb, and that they took all necessary measures to secure it. These security measures simply gave greater testimony to the miracle of the resurrection. If Jesus’ tomb was unguarded then we might not be certain that His body wasn’t stolen.
How does this passage further highlight the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection?
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
He came into the world from a virgin’s womb; He came forth again from a virgin tomb. No body had ever been set in that tomb, so that when a body came forth and the tomb was empty, there was no possible confusion as to which body came forth.
What is the significance of Jesus being placed in a new tomb?
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[f] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
The veil was what separated the holy place from the most holy place in the temple. It was a vivid demonstration of the separation between God and man. Notably, the veil was torn from top to bottom, and it was God who did the tearing.
What does it mean to us that God has torn the veil?