This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.
The key events of Jesus’ resurrection involve: (1) discovery of the empty tomb, (2) angelic announcement that Jesus is risen from the dead, (3) the women and disciples learning of Jesus resurrection from the dead, (4) Jesus appearing to them, and (5) Jesus’ instructing them to preach the gospel throughout the world.
Matthew tells of how the Jewish religious authorities handled the news of Jesus’ resurrection in verses 11–15. For a Jewish readership, to whom Matthew wrote primarily to convince them that Jesus was their Messiah and King, they would have wondered how Jewish leaders responded to Jesus’ resurrection. The Jewish religious leaders’ continued hypocrisy and wickedness sadly continued.
Jesus’ commands to his disciples after his resurrection (vv. 19–20) are: (1) intentionally go to all the nations, (2) make them disciples (believers and followers) of Jesus, which involved (3) publicly testifying by being immersed in water (“baptism”) that they believed in and are following Jesus and (4) learning and obeying everything Jesus commanded. The disciples were to obey Jesus’ commands because he has authority over everything (v. 18) and would always be with them (v. 20).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was in a literal, physical body. Many deny this with a number of psychological or other explanations, but such are no different than the Jewish leaders’ lies (vv. 11–15). If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, there is no hope of salvation (1 Cor 15:14–19). However, “he is risen, as he said!” (v. 6) Rejoice! (v. 9)
- Christians today are still responsible to obey every one of Jesus’ commands in verses 19–20 because of Jesus’ continued authority over everything (v. 18), doing so with confidence because of Jesus’ promised presence (v. 20). Go! Make disciples of all the nations! Baptize them! teach them to obey everything he commanded!
- Christians’ and the church’s responsibility does involve preaching the gospel, but not just preaching the gospel. Baptism, learning, and discipline are essential to making disciples. All of Jesus’ commands are essential to making disciples. Jesus commands us to make disciples, not get decisions.