Last Update September 27, 1998
Chapter 1: 21
1:21 "And She shall bring forth a son and
thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their
This text considers Joseph as he is approached by an Angel of the Lord
that that tells him that his wife Mary will bear a child, conceived by
the Holy Ghost, and he is told that the child should be named "Jesus: for
he shall save his people from their sins."
The naming of children and circumcision of boys was an important process
in Biblical times. According to the law the child was to be named on the
eight day after his birth and his life concecrated to the service of the
Lord through circumcision. Boys were to be brought to the temple after
a week but girls were were to be kept away for 14 days.
There was never a reason given for the difference but it was specified
in the law (Lev. 12). Joseph named Mary's male child, Jesus, as he was
instructed by the angel and the boy lived up to the name, he was the savior
of his people. Jesus was the last person in the Bible to receive a God
given name. There were five others before him, but there were none after
him. Ishmael:When Hagar, Abraham's Black handmaid conceived a child for
him on the instructions of his wife Sarah, she became the first surrogate
mother. An Angel came to her (Gen. 16:10) and told her that she was to
bear a child and the child was to be named Ismael. The named Ishmael meant
"He Whom God hears" It should be a blessing to count yourself among those
whom God hears. When times are tough, its good to know that you are among
those whom God hears. When crossing wide valleys or spanning the oceans,
its good to be able to count yourself among those whom God hears.
ISAAC: Sarah finally conceived in her old age and an Angel told Abraham
(Gen 17:19) to that he should name the child Isaac? The name Isaac was
to be a reminder to his wife who doubted God's ability to open her womb
in her old age and laughed at the thought. The name Isaac meant "laughter."
Sarah doubted God's ability and his power, but the same question that Abraham
asked her then we should ask ourselves today, is there anything to hard
for God to do?
SOLOMON: King David was a man of war and the entirety of his 30 year
reign was filled with bloodshed and violence his desire was to build a
great house for the Lord but his attention was always deflected because
of constant warfare. The Lord spoke to David and told him that he was to
have a son and that his son should be named "Solomon" because he would
be a man of peace and rest (1 Chrn. 22:9) Solomon was a man of wisdom and
contemplation. His wisdom was extolled around the world and under him Israel
found rest. It is a good thing to be at peace with your fellow man and
at peace with God. Sweet peace and sweet rest only comes when we have developed
the right relationship with God.
JOSIAH: 1 Kings 13:2 gives the amazing prophecy of the naming of King
Josiah. A prophet of the Lord, 325 years before his birth, came to the
temple and testified that the Lord would raise up a king from the house
of David and his name would be called Josiah who raised him in a hostile
and ungodly and environment but was tutored and taught by a godly priest
who showed him the way of the Lord. The name Josiah meant "God supports."
Who can survive in difficult times without the support of God? Who can
chart his own course or execute his own actions without the Lord. It is
good to have the supporting hand of God always by our side.
JOHN: Zacharias was told by an angel of God that his wife Elizabeth
would bear a son and his name would be called John. On the eighth day family
members took the little boy to the temple to have him circumcised and named
and they named him Zacharias, after his father. But Elizabeth resisted
saying that his name is to be called John. (Luke 1:59) They questioned
this name John because no one in their family bore that name and they gave
a pencil to Zacharias who wrote the name God had given him "John" and immediately
he was able to speak. The name John meant God has shown you a favor.
Chapter 5: 4
5:4 "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted."
This text considers two special words which are highlighted, "mourners"
and "comforted." Who are these who are to be comforted? What was the objective
of Christ's message to his followers on the mount?
Those who weep over the loss of life are mourners. Life is a precious
gift that has been given to us by God almighty as a loan for awhile. It
is not ours to keep, although often we view life as an imperishable possession
that only ends by old age or sudden accident. Life is fleeting. It is perishable,
it is not forever on this earth.Those who weep over the loss of life, grieve
the loss of the precious gift of existence granted to us by our father
Each of us shares the prospect of a richly fulfilled experience on this
earth and the limitless prospects linger before us. We strive to achieve
this objective, we struggle for it and hope for it constantly.
When the opportunity to achieve and accomplish on this earth is interrupted
by death, there are many who mourn. This text reminds such mourners that
they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that mourn..over Thirdly, lost
opportunity, for they shall be comforted.
There are also those who mourn over lost souls.
Many individuals go through their entire their lives without giving
thought about their souls and how they stand before their maker's standard.
There are those among the living who are mourning for the living who are
losing their souls. These are they who pray that God will touch the lives
of their loved ones and give them a clearer vision. Those who mourn the
loss of a soul are those who weep silently, inwardly and plead to God persistently
to intercede in the life of a loved one...our text reminds us that their
tears are not in vain, blessed are they that mourn...over lost souls for
they shall be comforted.
Chapter 6: 11
6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread"
Jesus in speaking to the New Testament believers reminded them that
their prayer to God is that he would provide their daily bread according
to their needs, through him, the bread of heaven. Israel had the presence
of Manna daily to sustain them. Today's Christians as Christ, the living
bread with them, day by day.
Chapter 9: 10, 11
9:10-11: And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the
house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and
his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples,
Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
This text first considers Jesus at the beginning of his ministry in
the process of selecting disciples. His fame had grown and many who had
been identified as sinners followed him wherever he went. The Pharisees
were critical of the master because he appeared to make no effort to upgrade
the "quality" of his followers.
The text finds Jesus going to the home of Levi (Matthew), the publican,
and inviting himself to dinner.
The publicans were those who served as collectors of the tax for the
Sandhedrin Council, which reported the net proceeds to the Roman officials.
The publicans received a commission for their work. The publicans were
not necessarily evil men but they were none-the-less hated for the zeal
in which they pursued their task of collecting taxes at a profit.
The publicans, like most other Jews, were strict observers of the law,
but they soon became associated with the lower classes of Jewish social
life...the sinners. The publicans became a conspicuous part of a semantical
couplet that found that no reference could be made to sinners without also
referring to publicans.
This shotgun wedding of publicans and sinners, forged in the fires of
public animosity, was a paradox to say the least.
A publican was isolated individual. Divorced by the rich for extracting
huge profits at exhorbant costs. Jilted by the poor for squeezing the life
blood of their existences, the publican was in a no mans land.
This was the prevailing attitude when Jesus came to the home of Matthew
--Recognized as a Godly man, but ostracized as a publican.
--Stylized as a keeper of the law, but stigmatized with lowest of criminals.
--Epitomized as a follower of the Mosaic tradition, but victimized as
a sinner and outcast.
Matthew least expected to be considered among those worthy of receiving
visit from the master teacher. In inviting himself to dinner with Matthew,
Jesus had an opportunity to point up his concern for those who were sinners,
and others like Matthew who were the victims of unfair public opinion.
Jesus's dinner visit said to all who observed it, that what he had to
offer was available to everyone, regardless to their status in life.
There are no big I's and little You's in the eyesight of the Lord.
Everybody is somebody in the eyesight of the Lord.
Chapter 10: 38
10:38 "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after
me, is not worthy of me."
This text points out how we can become worthy of salvation, through
him who is the lamb of God.
Jesus spelled out the conditions of being his disciple. Those who follow
are considered "worthy" when they put the service to the kingdom foremost
in their lives. Its importance supersedes personal goals and quests. Shouldering
the cross must become the supreme goal of the worthy follower. He who is
unwilling to shoulder the cross is immediately deemed "unworthy" to be
a disciple of Christ.
Chapter 13: 23
Matthew 13: 23 "But he that received seed into the good ground
is he that heareth the word and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit
and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty."
Our text first considers that good seed needs fertile soil in which
In the parable of the sower Christ emphasizes that good seed can only
grow where there is fertile ground.
Some, said Jesus, receive the Gospel message, casually. It is never
taken seriously but is viewed as a side show for the entertainment of the
hour. Though the Gospel message is received, it is not effective because
the evil one snatches that person quickly away.
Others, receive the word, and they do well for a while but soon backslide
out of the faith. He notes that such persons are those who have no depth
to their faith but are only drawn to the peripherals of faith.
Chapter 14: 24
14:24 "And he said unto them, this is my blood of the New
Testament which is shed for you."
This text considers blood and the types that were required for the forgiveness
of sins in both the old and new covenants.
There has always been a level of importance placed upon blood in the
scripture, primarily because life itself is derived from the blood. Blood
and "life" or "living being" are closely associated. The Hebrews of Old
Testament times were prohibited from eating blood. "Only be sure that thou
eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the
life with the flesh. Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the
earth as water" (Deut. 12:23-24). For agricultural people, this command
stressed the value of life. Though death was ever-present, life was sacred.
Life was not to be regarded cheaply.
Even when the Old Testament speaks of animal sacrifice and atonement,
the sacredness of life is emphasized. "For the life of the flesh is in
the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement
for your souls for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul"
(Lev. 17:11). In giving what was of great value, the person offering the
sacrifice showed that reconciliation with God involved life--the basic
element of human existence. Atonement was costly. Only the New Testament
could show how costly.
Not only was blood required, but certain types of blood were required
for certain types of sins. Moreover, social strata also decided the type
of blood required. Leviticus Chapters 4 and 5 describe two categories of
sinners and the types of blood required for the forgiveness of each. In
the context of this message that might easily be described as types A and
Type A can be described as the sins committed out of ignorance. These
would include mistakes, blunders, oversight, and misinformation. When the
priest sinned he was required to bring a young bullock and sacrifice it
to God. No other blood offered would be sufficient. (Lev. 4:3). When the
people, as a community or nation, sinned they also required a young bullock.
(Lev. 4:13). A leader or an official required a young male goat for his
atonement. (Lev. 4:22) When the common people sinned their atonement required
the blood of a young female goat. (Lev 4:27-28)
Type B can be described as sins that were committed with full knowledge
that they were against God's law. These are called trespass sins and usually
involve offenses against either God or another person. These would include:
swearing, stealing, lying, and other non-capital offenses. Those guilty
of swearing were required to sacrifice a female lamb or goat (Lev. 5:6)
Those whose offenses were against holy things and commandments such as
failing to give a tithe, first fruit offerings, and other laws required
a ram plus 20 percent interest.(Lev. 5:16) Those guilty of stealing must
make full restitution plus 20 percent interest (Lev. 6:4-5) to their victims
and then bring a young ram before God. In some cases the extremely poor
were allowed to bring pigeons and turtle doves for their trespass offerings
(Lev. 5:7). Regardless to whether the sin was committed out of ignorance
or out of willfulness, the shedding of blood was required. However, just
any blood wouldn't do. While bringing the blood of two pigeons for lying
would be acceptable they were unacceptable for theft. In the case of murder
the only blood type that was acceptable was the suspect's own. Blood offered
had to have the right type to be acceptable for the forgiveness of sin.
When Jesus inaugurated the New Covenant after His last Passover with
the disciples, He declared: "This is my blood of the new testament which
is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:28). Jesus, the God-man,
gave up His life and experienced the reality of death so that those who
identify themselves with him might experience His life and never taste
death as He did. He shed his blood, which was a universal type, for the
remission of sins of many categories and types of people. His blood covers
Chapter 16: 13,18
16:13 "When Jesus came into the coasts
of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that
I the Son of man am?"
This text focuses on Christ as he enters the coast of Caesarea Philippi,
surrounded by his disciples. Constantly plagued by doubters and detractors,
there were always people asking "Who is this?
In Luke 5:21 the scribes and the Pharisees asked "Who is this which
speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"
In Luke 9:9 Herod said, "John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom
I hear such things? And he desired to see him."
Even Saul on the road to Damascus, when stricken by a blinding light
asked "Who art thou, Lord?" (Acts 9:5) People were always asking "who is
this?" They studied Jesus with curiosity, to try to learn who he was and
what he came to do.
Christ inquired of those who followed him closely as to their impression
The answers Christ received reflected both reluctance and faith. Those
who were reluctant, did not tell about their own beliefs but chose to report
what others believed while keeping their own beliefs behind a thin veil.
The answers were that " Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some,
Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.(Matthew 16:14). This
was interesting because John the Baptist had recently been beheaded by
King Herod at the request of a dancer. While John was a vocal personality,
preached against wrong doing and baptized, he was not claiming the same
things that Christ claimed, which was sonship with God. In all of his great
work John claimed no miracles. Elias had been carried to glory in a chariot.
He made no great promise of returning, but only left his mantel and a double
portion of his miracle working faith to his understudy Elisha. In all of
his great works, Elijah never claimed to be a savior, redeemer or a promised
Messiah, yet the people thought Jesus was Elias returned. While Jeremiah
was a great prophet of ancient Israel whose writings of prophecy about
the future of Israel were unequaled, precise and true, there was never
any inference on his part that one day he would return.
The comparison between Jesus and these great men indicated what the
people saw, which was the superficial and not the great design. They heard
the things John the Baptist said, the miracles the Elijah preformed and
the prophetic power of Jeremiah and instantly concluded that Jesus must
be from this set. They did not see the purpose of any of those they named.
Jeremiah prophesied about the sins of Judah and his purpose was to warn
them of God's anger. Elijah's purpose was to stand tall for God amidst
a generation led by the wickedness of Ahab and Jezebel. John the Baptist's
purpose was to announce to an entire generation that the Messiah was coming.
He was not the saviour but a forerunner that would bear witness to his
coming. Not only did "some" not understand the nature of Jesus' mission,
but they didn't understand the prophets and their ultimate purpose either.
Jesus was characterized on their level, as one who was doing mighty works
and drawing great crowds, like John, Elijah and Jeremiah.
Jesus sensed that his disciples were evading and asked clearly: "But
whom say ye that I am?" The answer would have to be personal. Not what
others think or say, but what they thought personally. In answer to the
question Peter rose to affirm his belief that Jesus was exactly who he
claimed to be, the son of God. Whether Peter spoke for himself or for all
of the disciples is debatable. What is sure is that he spoke what he believed,
that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God.
16:18: "And I say also unto thee, That
thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it."
Jesus said upon this "rock" I'll build my church and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it! The word He used for "rock" was not accidental.
It was "Petra," which implies a great massive rock. While Peter had grown
in his relationship with Him, Christ reaffirmed that the church would not
be built upon "Petros" or the Little Rock, but it would be built upon "Petra"
the massive rock, which is Christ himself. Peter's progress therefore tracks
the relationship that every believer has with Christ, progressing from
a point of ignorance to his presence, being introduced to his power and
finally knowing him personally. Peter's progress brought him closer to
being one with the rock, rather than being a loose pebble! Peter's rock
Chapter 17: 15, 16
17:15-16. "Lord have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic,
sore vexed: for oftimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
And I brought him to thy disciples and they could not cure him."
This text first considers the case of a certain man who made a plea
to Jesus for the healing of his son. The man came to Jesus because all
others had failed, including his disciples. It appeared that his son's
case was a lost cause.
His son was stricken with a disease of the mind, aggravated by the presence
of Satan in his life. He was called a Lunatic from the Latin word "Luna"
which refered to the phases of the moon. It appeared his son's case was
a lost cause.
He was susceptible to a variety of fits that caused him to fall frequently
but the presence of Satan in his life aggravated his falls such that he
not only fell, but he fell in the fire or in the water or in other places
where he could injure himself. It appeared that his case was a lost cause.
The father took his sons to the disciples for their inspection and spiritual
care and despite their best efforts to resolve the boy's deviant behavior
he continued acting erraticly, Unpredictably, and dangerously. It appeared
that his son's case was a lost cause.
But the father heard that Jesus was coming in town. He had been atop
the mount of transfiguration and a large crowd had formed to greet him
on his return. This father however, pushed his way through the crowd and
fell to his knees to bring a lost cause in life to the first cause of life.
"Lord, I'm bringing my case before you. I've carried my son to the finest
doctors, he's undergone batteries of tests and inquiries and the doctors
conclude that he is a lost cause. I carried him to your disciples and they
could not help him. They say he's a lost cause. Now Lord, I'm bringing
him to you for I believe there is no ill cause you can't resolve."
The father uncovered one of the cardinal tenants upon which the Christian
faith rests..that there is nothing impossible for God to do.
The text shows the resolution of the little boy's problem. Verse 18
calls attention to a common practice of our Lord: he treated the problem
and not the symptom. He focused his attention upon the cause of the boy's
erratic action rather than the actions themselves.
In so doing, our Lord attributed the presence of Satan in this boy's
life as the reason for his actions. He immediately addressed the cause
of the problem rather than the symptoms. He rebuked Satan and in the same
hour, the boy was healed.
Chapter 24: 46
24:46: "And about the ninth hour Jesus
cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to
say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
This text gives a good example of God's ability to understand. Christ,
hanging on the cross, cries out to God in his agony. However, Christ does
not cry out in Hebrew, his native tongue. He cries out in Aramaic. Aramaic
was the language of commerce. It contained a mixture of Hebrew, Aramaic,
Samaritan and other languages that was useful to those who moved from place
to place. Its use helped those of different nationalities communicate with
others. While it helped most to understand a great deal of what was said,
it could mislead. When Christ called out, "Eli, Eli" he was calling upon
God. Some who heard his Aramaic words interpreted it to mean that he was
calling upon the prophet Elijah. Others took it for its actual meaning.
However, the appeal that Christ made was not to those who were listening
he was appealing to God, who understood not only the words he spoke, but
the meditations of his heart. When he cried out in agony, it did not matter
which language Christ used, God heard him, because he knows the hearts
and thoughts of every person.
Chapter 25: 28,
25:28-29 "Take therefore the talent
from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every
one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him
that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath."
This text focuses on one of two parables Jesus gave that emphasized
the expectation that every person in the kingdom would use abilities given
to maximum potential.
The idea of faith and industry is suggested in both the parable
of the "minas" in Luke 19:12-26 and the parable of the "talents" in Matthew
25:14-30. In Luke, a nobleman went away on a journey and gave each of his
ten slaves a "mina" which was about $8,500 each by modern standards. When
he returned he each person was asked to account for their management of
their "mina." One had taken his "mina" and turned it into ten and the master
praised him for his industry and made him a ruler over ten cities. Another
had produced five and was made ruler over five cities. At least one however,
had taken his "mina" and kept it in a handkerchief and gave it back. The
master was angered at his unwillingness to use his "mina" and took it from
him and gave it to the one who demonstrated his industry best."
In Matthew, Jesus repeats the same theme with the parable of
the "talents." This time the nobleman gave each of his servants a "talent"
which was about 60 times the value of a mina or about $500,000. Unlike
the parable of the "minas" in which every person was given the same amount
to work with, Jesus draws an even clearer picture in this parable noting
that some of the servants were given more talents than others. Each person
that used their talents in ways that showed an increase were praised and
rewarded. However, the servant who refused to use his talent because it
was small and feared failure was scorned. In fact, the master took his
talent from him and gave it to the one who had demonstrated that he could
get the most out of what was given.
The Greek word used for "talent" is "Talanton" which means
"a weighed amount." Our English word "talent" is drawn from this parable.
It refers to "weighed ability" or a gift committed to one's trust to use
and improve. It refers generally to natural faculty, ability or power.
In that context the parable of the talents suggests that
everyone is entrusted with varying abilities. Each is expected to use those
abilities to in a productive and positive way.
Chapter 26: 13
26:13 "I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached
throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of
This text focuses on Christ as he talked to his disciples about the
lasting effects of a life of dedicated service. It is the first of two
biblical accounts of the women pouring anointing oil on Jesus to signify
their faith in him. In Luke 7:37 Jesus was eating at the home of a Pharisee
and a woman described as a sinner came and began anointing his feet and
wiping them dry with her hair. In this instance Jesus was criticized for
allowing a sinful woman to approach him in such a manner. Her act was not
further acknowledged. It is not the same instance as the anointing that
is referred to in this text, although both involved an anointing with oil
and an alabaster box of oil.
The occasion of the text is a supper at the house of Simon the Leper,
just days before Jesus was to be crucified. The disciples had assembled
themselves with Jesus to eat and fellowship. As they ate a woman called
"Mary of Bethany" came into the room with an alabaster box or jar filled
with expensive oils and she began to anoint the head of Jesus as they talked.
The disciples instantly recognized the value of the oils and were disturbed
that the oils were "wasted" on anointing Jesus' head when they could have
been sold and used to expand their work, helping the poor, and supporting
their ministry. Jesus immediately rebuked them for troubling the woman.
He characterized her act as a "good work" that was done "for him." Any
such work was never a waste of time, resources or energy.
Jesus, while referring to his own death, spoke the woman's eulogy, long
before her death. It was a unique and special pronouncement of her epitaph,
regardless to how it may have been forming before she entered the room.
He said her act of anointing him was a symbol of what was to be done in
just a few days. She was, in essence, rehearsing the anointing of his body
for burial. In just a few days women did actually come to the tomb bearing
fine spices and oils to anoint his body. They were the first to know that
he had risen. He announced how she would be remembered: "..wherever this
gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also
be told, in memory of her." She would be remembered because of good works
performed for and in the name of the Lord. It was a fitting epitaph for
a woman who placed her faith completely in his hands.
27:34 "They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and
when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink."
This text focuses on Chris as he refuses a mixed drink while on the
Crucifixion was the Roman method of punishing criminals. It involved
public humiliation and also a torturous death.. While hanging on the cross
the Romans gave him a traditional drink offered to the condemned but Christ
refused at verse 34. However, at verse 48 it appears that they gave him
another drink, which he accepted. The contents of the two drinks made the
In the garden of Gethsemene Jesus begged his father to allow the "cup"
of Calvary to pass. It would be a bitter, painful experience. However,
he told his father his will in the matter would guide him. Thus, it appeared
that the crucifixion was God's will. It involved public humiliation and
a painful death. That was the price necessary for the forgiveness of the
sins of mankind. There was to be nothing more or nothing less.
At verse 34, they offered Christ a mixed drink that would have side
stepped one of the elements that redemption required: "the painful death."
Matthew records that they gave him a mixture of vinegar and gall, which
Christ refused. They gave this traditional mixture to condemned men to
null their senses and sedate them. This tradition began under Solomon who
in Proverbs 31:6 said, "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish,
and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts." The mixture that they gave
to Christ composed of both "vinegar" and "Gall." Vinegar, representing
the bitterness of sin. It also represented the wrath of God symbolized
by the cup his father had placed in his hand. Drinking from a bitter cup
was one of the curses that came upon Israel after it sin in the wilderness.
Moses ground up the golden calf and sprinkled the dust in the water supply
which became bitter. In Numbers chapter 5:18 "bitter water was an indicator
of sin. Thus, the bitter vinegar was symbolic of Christ consuming the sin
of the world fulfilling the prophecy of Psalm 69:21 that he would be offered
both vinegar and gall.
However, Christ refused the drink. The scripture does not say why, but
its contents may shed light on the reason. The drink also included "gall."
The "Gall" referred to in this text is ground poppy heads. It had the effect
of completely deadening the senses as would an anesthetic. However, if
Christ chose to consume this drink, he would have bypassed God's plan.
It was God's will that he endure both the pain and humiliation as well
as the death of cross. He was not willing to short circuit the process,
which drinking the mixed drink would have accomplished.
However, at verse 48, as he was preparing to give up the ghost, having
finished his mission they gave him a drink without the painkiller and accepted
Christ. Having done so, soon after he gave up the ghost and died.
The mixed drink they offered him on the cross was refused because it
did not represent the fulness of God's will. The vinegar, as bitter as
it was, was a part of God's plan for mankind, and Christ accepted.
Chapter 28: 5, 6, 10,
28:5-6 "And the Angels answered and said unto the women,
Fear ye not: For I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is
not here. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
This text first considers that those close to the Savior have no reason
to be afraid.
Our Lord had been crucified on the day preceding the Sabbath. Early
before the dawn of the first day of the week Mary Magdalene and the other
Mary came to anoint his body with oils and to prepare it for embalming.
When the Marys came the Angel said to them, "Fear not", "We know why
you have come...you have come seeking Jesus who was crucified.
Fear not, The circumstances may be awesome to you but, fear not.The
events that you will view may appear mysterious to you, but fear not.
The trauma of what you are about to experience might be frightening
to you, but fear not. No harm will come to you.
These two words spoken to the two women served to calm their fears and
reassure them that despite the adversarial arrangements they had endured
that the promises of God would continue.
God has often spoken to those close to him and reminded them to fear
not! He reassured Abraham of a promising future in store for his family.
When Abraham showed anxiety over the fact that he had no children God said
to him "fear not for I am thy shield and a great reward" In essence, fear
not Abraham, I'm still on your side.
This text also indicates that the Angel invited the Marys into the tomb
to see for themselves. The tomb was freshly hewn and made especially for
a rich man named Joseph. Jesus was the first and only person to occupy
the tomb. The Angel invited the Marys to bear witness to the reality of
the resurrection. They were invited to see the empty blood stained winding
sheet. They were invited to see the neatly folded napkin that lay across
his face. They were invited to investigate the interior of the tomb and
see for themselves.
There is great importance that must be given to seeing something for
yourself. There is no witness like a witness that can say I have seen it
with my own eyes.
Likewise, there is no testimony like that of a person who can say God
is alright for I have tried him for myself.
The angel wanted the woman to be in a position to speak with authority
and in the first person..."come see the place where the Lord lay."
Every child of God is invited to bear witness to the truth of the resurrection...that
Christ is alive.
This text notes that the angel told the women to go and tell others
that the Lord has risen. Tell them that he is going down into Galilee and
there they can see him too.
As the women got in a hurry to tell the message they met Jesus on the
way and he told them to "Be not afraid" but tell "my brethren" they can
meet me in Galilee.
If you are unsaved today and you are looking for Jesus..don't look for
him in the darkness of the crucifixion day, but look for him in brightness
of the resurrection morning.
28:10-15 Then said Jesus unto them,
Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there
shall they see me. Now when they were going, behold, some of the
watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things
that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken
counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples
came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the
governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the
money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported
among the Jews until this day
This text focuses on the effort of the Jewish religious
leaders to spread a false story about the resurrection of Christ.
After his death, Christ was buried in Joseph's new
tomb, where he stayed for three days as he prophesied. However, on the
first day of the week he arose from the dead and walked from the tomb despite
the fact that a huge stone blocked the doorway. The absence of his body
from the tomb sent shock waves throughout the religious leadership. It
was their greatest fear, that another person would be seen living after
having been reported dead.
The death of Lazarus and his resurrection caused them
many problems. Jesus raised him from the dead and they knew they would
only increase his followers. They were so disturbed that they attempted
to kill Lazarus again, to stop the ground swell of support Jesus was receiving.
A little girl had been raised too. That sparked great interest. They took
great pains that Jesus' followers would not be encouraged by the disappearance
of his body and a claim to his own resurrection of the dead.
They insisted that the large stone that would block
the doorway of the tomb would bear the official Roman seal to keep anyone
from removing his body and claiming that he had risen. In addition, for
the course of the three days that he predicted they insisted upon guards
for the tomb. It must have seemed ridiculous to the soldiers. With all
of their other duties to perform they were being called upon to guard a
tomb from people who were so frightened that they hid in crowds and stayed
back a distance to avoid association. It must have been humorous to them
to stand watch over a tomb, cut from a rock, protected by a rock
and sealed with the Roman official seal. Yet, this was their task.
When an angel appeared and rolled the
stone away, the soldiers were amazed. When they reported what they saw
to the religious leaders they were given huge amounts of money to tell
the story another way. It had to appear that the disciples had stolen the
body. They could conjure any reasonable fabrication if necessary, but they
were not to tell the truth.
Here was a large amount of
money given to the soldiers for advancing that which they knew to be a
lie. The priests promised to protect them from the sword of Pilate because
their lives would be in danger. They did not consider that while they had
influence with Pilate, their bad deed would get no where before the sword
of God's justice.
They gave them a story to tell
but it was one that was riddled with inconsistencies. Had the soldiers
been all asleep, they could not have known what passed. If any had been
awake, they would have roused the others and prevented the removal; and
certainly if they had been asleep, they never would have dared to confess
it; while the Jewish rulers would have been the first to call for their
punishment. Again, had there been any truth in the report, the rulers would
have prosecuted the apostles with severity for it. The whole shows that
the story was entirely false. And we must not charge such things to the
weakness of the understanding, but to the wickedness of the heart. God
left them to expose their own course. The great argument to prove Christ
to be the Son of God, is his resurrection; and none could have more convincing
proofs of the truth of that than these soldiers; yet they took bribes to
hinder others from believing.
The scribes and pharisees wanted
a story told but they didn't want it told straight! What they tried to
hide a host of witnesses would not conceal. Jesus was alive! He had been
seen by many! Despite the lies that are being told about that resurrection
morning, the story has been told straight and the world now knows who is
truly King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
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
We are charged with the responsibility of present God and the salvation
he offers through Jesus, to a world that only believes what it sees, hears,
tastes, feels and smells. We must present Jesus to a world that only understand
things that can
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be empirically tested using the four steps of the scientific method.
To present thelife style of Jesus is our charge today!