The Book of Matthew-Chapter 28

(1) Now after the Sabbath (in Greek it is “Sabbaths” and these would be Unleavened Bread and the 7th day Sabbath of that week) as it began to dawn (Greek “epiphoskousa” meaning dusk, the time a day begins) toward the first of the week (the Greek says “into the first of the Sabbaths” meaning the Sabbath of First Fruits), Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. (2) And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred (previous to their arrival), for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven (may have been Gabriel, who announced his conception, announced his birth to the shepherds, may have strengthened him in the garden) and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it (this was not to let Yeshua out, but to let others in. He was already gone and it was dark. Yeshua rose right after sundown). (3) And his appearance was like lightning (a brightness, like in Dan 10.6), and his garment as white as snow (as a token of innocence and purity); (4) and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men (these battle-hardened Romans were in a panic, no fight in them). (5) And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Yeshua who has been crucified. (6) He is not here, for he has risen (not stolen as the chief priests will later tell these soldiers to say), just as he said. Come, see the place where he was lying (Hebrew Matthew says “arose”). (7) And go quickly and tell his talmidim that he has risen from the dead; and behold, he is going before you to Galilee, there you will see him; behold, I have told you (he would appear later that day to them-John 20.19).” (8) And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to his talmidim. (9) And behold, Yeshua met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshipped him. (10) Then Yeshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to my brethren (not his brothers in the flesh, but the talmidim) to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see me.” (11) Now while they were on their way (the women), behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. (12) And when they assembled with the elders and counseled together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, (13) and said, “You are to say, ‘His talmidim came by night and stole him away while we were asleep (these priests knew he was raised from the dead because they paid people to lie about it, but that doesn’t mean you are saved and born again just because you believe he was raised from the dead).’ And if this should come to the governors ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble (to sleep on watch was a death sentence in the Roman army. They would use all their influence to keep them from being punished).” (15) And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews to this day (Matthew’s day). (16) But the eleven talmidim proceeded to Galilee (not directly, because he appeared to them in Jerusalem the same day), to the mountain which Yeshua designated. (17) And when they saw him, they worshipped, but some were doubtful (after everything that happened, there was a lot to take in, like Joseph’s brothers). (18) And Yeshua came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority (power) has been given to me in heaven and on earth (as agent and mediator). (19) Go (this is the curriculum of the 144,000 to the Gentiles) therefore and make talmidim of all the nations (to the Jew first, then the Gentiles), baptizing (as done in a Jewish immersion) them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you (Yeshua taught the Torah, and they were to teach it as it applied to the Jew and Gentile- Matt 5.17-19; 11.29. The Torah was for all nations-Isa 2.2-4; Micah 4.1-5. Paul would teach the Torah to the Gentiles-1 Cor 11.1-2; 1 Thes 5.1. Going to the four corners of the earth to teach the commandments is illustrated by the tzitzit, which symbolize the commandments on the four corners of their garments-Num 15.39. This was part of the gospel, the good news, the Basar. It was preached before Yeshua-Gal 3.8. The Messiah is not the Basar, the good news, the Gospel. He is the agent of the Basar. His task was to redeem mankind and nature, called the “restoration.” We enter into that redemption by faith (Hebrew “emunah”-see the article this site on “Emunah” for more details about what biblical faith is). At this time, there were the talmidim and many more that Yeshua personally trained to do this. However, there was not a concept at this time that the Gentiles were going to come into the faith “en masse” nor was there a concept that they would do so without first becoming Jews by conversion and circumcision. They believed that the kingdom of God was for Israel, for Gentiles to have a place in that kingdom, they would need to become Jews. That was their understanding at this point. Their concept of this commission in Matt 28.19-20 was that they were to go into the world, to the Jews. The Gentiles would come into the faith by conversion through circumcision and eventually see that Yeshua was the Messiah. The talmidim and Paul will have a revelation that the Gentiles do not have to become Jews to be saved. This would be the most controversial subject in the first century among believers. Whether Gentiles had to become Jewish to be saved was the issue in Acts 10 with Cornelius. Once Peter saw that Cornelius received the Holy Spirit and was born again without circumcision (same as conversion), he reported it to the brethren who saw that God was showing them something. The issue crops up again in Acts 15.1-41 and in the book of Galatians. It was decided that God had showed them that Gentiles did not need to be circumcised (to become Jewish) to be saved. However, at this point in Matthew, the talmidim did not have that understanding yet); and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (the Olam ha Zeh, this present age).

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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