April 29, 2011
“And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.'”
The Post-Resurrection Ministry of Jesus
“They Will See Me”
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Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, had a special meeting with Jesus as they left to tell His disciples of the resurrection. Peter and another disciple had come and believed, and Mary Magdalene had already heard Jesus say to her, “Mary!” She had been clinging to Jesus, and He had encouraged her. Now we see another meeting with Jesus.
Fear and Great Joy. The women left the tomb with fear (“φόβου“) and great joy (“χαρᾶς“). They were running. Can you feel their excitement and wonder? They now knew that Jesus was not in that tomb, but had arisen. They could not wait to tell His disciples that He was alive, and would meet them in Galilee. When I read these stories, they move me in my heart to feel their excitement that Sunday morning of the first resurrection.
Do Not Be Afraid. Notice that the text shows that Jesus took the initiative here. He apparently had concern over their fear. Jesus had used this phrase “Do not be afraid” (“Μὴ φοβεῖσθε“) before (Matthew 28:10). He instructed the twelve before sending them out: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). When the disciples saw Him walking on the water, Jesus calmed their terror with the same Greek words, rendered in English “Take courage” (Matthew 14:27). At the transfiguration, Peter, James and John fell to the ground terrified, and Jesus touched them and said, “Get up and do not be afraid” (Matthew 17:7). When people experience a taste of the power and majesty of Jesus, they often fall in fear and trembling. He loves to comfort fearful and terrified people with His compassionate voice.
Go and Take Word. Jesus commissioned the women to take word of His resurrection to His brethren. Notice that Jesus uses the term for “brethren” (“ἀδελφοῖς“) here, indicating a new relationship with His disciples. In Hebrews 2:11, Jesus said that because He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father, then Jesus was not ashamed to call them brothers. Jesus looks upon all believers as part of His family. Jesus had a plan to meet His disciples in Galilee after the resurrection.
They Will See Me. Jesus loves to see His children, and His children love to see Him. In this case, the disciples will become eye-witnesses of His resurrection, and provide living testimony to His resurrection and life. Jesus also has a special blessing for everyone like us, who have never seen Him, but love Him. Peter wrote: “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, . . . ” (1 Peter 1:8).
So we begin to learn about the Post-Resurrection Ministry of Jesus.
● The resurrected Christ inspired both fear and joy in the people who saw Him at the empty tomb.
● Jesus loves to relieve fear, and take it away by His words and His love. Jesus really cares about how we feel, and He wants us to rejoice over His resurrection, even today.
● Jesus desires for us to tell others about His love and compassion. He had a plan to meet personally with His disciples, and called them His brothers. Even though we do not see Him today, we have their eye-witness testimony, and we love Him and rejoice with great joy. Jesus lives!
Application for Today
Today I want to rejoice in Jesus. He calls me His brother, and considers every believer a part of His family, forever. When fear comes my way today, I will remember Jesus telling the women, “Fear not.” Jesus cares about how I feel, and He wants me to rejoice in His resurrection today. Jesus loves to meet with us, and live within us, every day. Will you feel His love today and rejoice even though we have not seen Him YET today?