Matthew 28:7 MEANING

Matthew 28:7
(7) He goeth before you into Galilee.--The words seem to point to a meeting in Galilee as the first appearance of the risen Lord to His disciples, and St. Matthew records no other. No adequate explanation can be given of the omission of what the other Gospels report, if we assume the whole Gospel to have been written by the Apostle Matthew. On the hypothesis that it is a "Gospel according to Matthew," representing the substance of his oral teaching, the absence of this or that fact which we should have expected him to record may have been due to some idiosyncrasy in the scribe, or, so to speak, editor of the Gospel. It is possible that if the disciples had believed the report brought by the women the mountain in Galilee would have been the scene of the first meeting between them and their Master; but they did not believe, and required the evidence which He in His compassion gave them, in order to quicken their faith and lead them to obey the command thus given.

Verse 7. - Go quickly, and tell his disciples. St. Mark significantly adds, "and Peter." The disciples were to believe without seeing. They had deserted Christ in his hour of need, had not stood by the cross, nor aided in his burial; so they were not to be honoured with the vision of angels or the first sight of the risen Lord. This was reserved for the faithful women, who thus received their mission to carry a message to the messengers - a foretaste of the ministry which they should perform in the Church of Christ. He goeth before you (προάγει ὑμᾶς) into Galilee. The verb is noticeable. It is that used by our Lord himself on his way to the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:32), and it implies the act of a shepherd at the head of his flock, leading them to new pastures (comp. John 10:4). The good Shepherd had been smitten, and the sheep scattered; now under his guidance they were to be reunited. The apostolic band had been temporarily dissolved and disintegrated; the college was again to be reformed, and was to receive its renewed commission in seclusion and peace, that it might return to Jerusalem with unimpaired strength to commence its arduous labours. The place of meeting is in Galilee, where most of his mighty works were done, and where it was safer for the disciples to assemble than at Jerusalem. The majority of them came from this region, and thither they returned some ten days (John 20:26; John 21:1-4) after the Resurrection, to resume their ordinary occupations (ver. 16). Thus they would realize that it was the same Jesus who met them there with whom, these three past years, they had held familiar intercourse. It was ordained, for some reason not expressly stated, that from Galilee should proceed Christ's spiritual kingdom which he came to establish - that "word which," as Peter said (Acts 10:37), "was published throughout all Judaea, beginning from Galilee." We read of only two appearances of Christ in Galilee - once at the lake, mentioned in the last chapter of St. John, and again in ver. 17 of this chapter of St. Matthew. It is, however, possible that the appearance named by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:6), when he was seen by more than five hundred brethren at one time, may have occurred in Galilee. If this is the case, it would be remarkable as the only public revelation of Christ after his resurrection, and the comparative seclusion of the northern district may have been one reason for its selection as the scene for this great demonstration. There was doubtless some moral fitness in the humble and despised Galilee being made the starting point of his Church who was despised and rejected of men whom it was contemptuously said, "Doth the Christ come out of Galilee?" (John 7:41). "As in all things God sets at naught the pride of mankind, and chooses persons, instruments, and places mean in the eves of the world, teaching us that in humbler and more retired abodes, secret from the world, we are to seek for the strength of God, who hideth himself" (I. Williams). Lo, I have told you. The angel thus solemnly confirms what he had just said. The Authorized Vulgate gives, Ecce, praedixi vobis, which is warranted by no existing Greek manuscripts, the uniform reading of the original being εϊπον or εϊμα

28:1-8 Christ rose the third day after his death; that was the time he had often spoken of. On the first day of the first week God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. On this day did He who is the Light of the world, shine out of the darkness of the grave; and this day is from henceforward often mentioned in the New Testament, as the day which Christians religiously observed in solemn assemblies, to the honour of Christ. Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone by his own power, but he chose to have it done by an angel. The resurrection of Christ, as it is the joy of his friends, so it is the terror and confusion of his enemies. The angel encouraged the women against their fears. Let the sinners in Zion be afraid. Fear not ye, for his resurrection will be your consolation. Our communion with him must be spiritual, by faith in his word. When we are ready to make this world our home, and to say, It is good to be here, then let us remember our Lord Jesus is not here, he is risen; therefore let our hearts rise, and seek the things that are above. He is risen, as he said. Let us never think that strange which the word of Christ has told us to expect; whether the sufferings of this present time, or the glory that is to be revealed. It may have a good effect upon us, by faith to view the place where the Lord lay. Go quickly. It was good to be there, but the servants of God have other work appointed. Public usefulness must be chosen before the pleasure of secret communion with God. Tell the disciples, that they may be comforted under their present sorrows. Christ knows where his disciples dwell, and will visit them. Even to those at a distance from the plenty of the means of grace, he will graciously manifest himself. The fear and the joy together quickened their pace. The disciples of Christ should be forward to make known to each other their experiences of communion with their Lord; and should tell others what God has done for their souls.And go quickly and tell his disciples,.... Who were mourning and weeping for the death of Christ; despairing of his resurrection, of which, at least, they had but little hope, nor indeed much thought, though Christ had so often told them of it; and therefore a quick dispatch was necessary to remove their sorrow, revive their faith, and relieve their souls, to which the errand these women were sent upon, and the news they were to bring, had a tendency; namely,

that he is risen from the dead: than which nothing could be more joyful news unto them, as it is to all believers; for on this depend the justification and salvation of God's elect; their security from condemnation, and their resurrection from the dead. This news was first brought to the apostles by women, who were greatly honoured hereby; that as the woman was first in the transgression, and the cause of death, so the first news of the resurrection of Christ to life, and of life and immortality being by him, who was first showed the path of life, were brought by women; and to a woman it was that Christ first appeared after his resurrection, Mark 16:9. The Vulgate Latin only reads, "that he is risen", as in the former verse.

And behold he goeth before you into Galilee. These are still the words of the angel to the women, telling them what they should say to the apostles, that he should go before them into Galilee; and which might serve to confirm the resurrection to them, and to give the greater credit to the report of the women, since this very thing Christ had promised them before; see Matthew 26:32, though it was also true, that he should go before these women into Galilee, and who also should see him there: for the next words,

there shall ye see him; though they may chiefly design the apostles, who should have a sight of Christ in Galilee, yet may include these women also:

lo! I have told you; I "Gabriel", who am an angel of the Lord, sent by him to inform you of these things; and you may depend upon the truth of them, that Jesus is risen, and that he is about, in a very little time, to go before his disciples into Galilee, where they shall see him with their bodily eyes, and have a free and familiar conversation with him. The reasons why this place was pitched upon for Christ and his apostles to meet in, were, because here he first preached, and chiefly conversed, and had the largest number of disciples there, to whom he meant to show himself, as he did, 1 Corinthians 15:6, as well as to his apostles: moreover, the apostles were of Galilee, and so were these women; and to go into their own country, and there meet with Jesus, must be very agreeable; and besides, there they would be safer and freer from the molestations and persecutions of the Jews; and might follow their former calling, as they did, until the time they were to be further employed in preaching the Gospel.

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