Matthew 28:16 MEANING

Matthew 28:16
(16) Then the eleven disciples.--The writer passes over, for some reason which we cannot now discover, all the intermediate appearances, and passes on at once to that which connected itself with the mission and work of the Apostles, and through them of the universal Church.

Into a mountain.--Better, to the mountain. The words imply some more definite announcement than that of Matthew 28:7; Matthew 28:10, and therefore, probably, some intermediate meeting. We may think of the mountain as being one that had been the scene of former meetings between the Master and His disciples. They had seen Him there before, in the body of His humiliation. They were now to see Him in the body of His glory. (Comp. Philippians 3:21.)

Verses 16-20. - Our Lord appears to the disciples in Galilee, and gives them a commission to teach and baptize. (Peculiar to St. Matthew; but comp. Mark 16:15-18.) Verse 16. - Then the eleven disciples. There is no note of time in the original, which gives merely, But the eleven, etc. The meeting here narrated took place on some day after the first Easter week. The number "eleven" shows the loss of one of the sacred college, whose complement was not filled up till just before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-26). Went away into Galilee. St. Matthew takes pains to show the exact fulfilment of Christ's very special injunction and promise concerning Galilee (see vers. 7, 10, and notes there, and Matthew 26:32). The evangelist's object being to set forth Christ in his character as King and Lawgiver, he puts aside all other incidents in order to give prominence to this appearance, where Jesus announces his supreme authority (ver. 18), gives the commission to his apostles, and promises his perpetual presence (vers. 19, 20). Into a mountain (τὸ ὄρος, the mountain), where (οῦ instead of οῖ) Jesus had appointed them. We do not know the locality intended, though it must have been some spot familiar to the disciples, and was probably plainly designated at the time when Christ appointed the meeting. Some have fixed on Tabor as the scene of this revelation, others on the Mount of Beatitudes; but where nothing is stated it is best to lay aside conjecture and accept the designed indefiniteness. Many commentators have determined that this appearance on the Galilaean mountain was that mentioned by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:6), as manifested to five hundred brethren at once. This is a mere conjecture, probable, but not certain. If it was the case, we must consider that St. Matthew singles out the eleven apostles as the most eminent among the company, and those to whom the Lord specially addressed the commission which he mentions. Of the five hundred brethren, St. Paul, writing some twenty years or more after this time, testifies that the greater number were still alive, only some having "fallen asleep." There never was, indeed, any historical fact the authenticity of which was more remarkably and irrefragably certified than the resurrection of Christ.

28:16-20 This evangelist passes over other appearances of Christ, recorded by Luke and John, and hastens to the most solemn; one appointed before his death, and after his resurrection. All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him. Yet the faith of the sincere may be very weak and wavering. But Christ gave such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts. He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. The salvation they were to preach, is a common salvation; whoever will, let him come, and take the benefit; all are welcome to Christ Jesus. Christianity is the religion of a sinner who applies for salvation from deserved wrath and from sin; he applies to the mercy of the Father, through the atonement of the incarnate Son, and by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and gives up himself to be the worshipper and servant of God, as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons but one God, in all his ordinances and commandments. Baptism is an outward sign of that inward washing, or sanctification of the Spirit, which seals and evidences the believer's justification. Let us examine ourselves, whether we really possess the inward and spiritual grace of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, by which those who were the children of wrath become the children of God. Believers shall have the constant presence of their Lord always; all days, every day. There is no day, no hour of the day, in which our Lord Jesus is not present with his churches and with his ministers; if there were, in that day, that hour, they would be undone. The God of Israel, the Saviour, is sometimes a God that hideth himself, but never a God at a distance. To these precious words Amen is added. Even so, Lord Jesus, be thou with us and all thy people; cause thy face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.Then the eleven disciples,.... For Judas was not only gone from them, but was dead; so that there were now but eleven of them: went

away into Galilee: not directly, as soon as the women had delivered their message; for Christ appeared to them the same day at Jerusalem; and so he did at the same place that week; see John 20:19, but some time, after this they went together into Galilee, according to Christ's direction both before and after his resurrection, Matthew 26:32,

into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them; either before his death, or since he was risen; and very likely at one of the above interviews he had with them. This is generally thought to be Mount Tabor; but of this there is no proof, nor certainty: it might be the mountain near Capernaum, on which he taught, Matthew 5:1, or that, if not the same with the other, near the sea of Galilee, where Christ fed four thousand with seven loaves, and a few fishes, Matthew 15:29. A mountain was appointed for this meeting, both for solitariness and for sight; for here it was he was seen by above five hundred brethren at once, 1 Corinthians 15:6.

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