Message: At what point are you so convinced of the truth that you intentionally lie and cover up to deny it? The scribes and Pharisees knew enough truth to want to discredit Jesus during his ministry. They were crafty about the types of questions they asked and they set up other people to also ask these questions also. They used attorney type tactics in the hopes to set a trap for Jesus that would contradict the law of Moses or himself. Even when he was crucified they were trying to stay one step ahead. They knew that Jesus had said he would rise from the dead after three days so they set up guards at the tomb. Then after he did resurrect and the guards told them what happened they moved on to their next cover up. They paid the guards to lie about what happened and tell them that they fell asleep and the body was stolen. Contrast this with the disciples who walked with Jesus. Jesus had been warning them and preparing them for everything that would happen and they seemingly didn’t believe it or didn’t understand it. They fled when Jesus was taken and they were hiding and mourning after his death when you would think they would be looking for his resurrection. Or were they? Verse 16 tells us that the 11 disciples (minus Judas who betrayed Jesus and hung himself) traveled to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. Verse 17 tells us that when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted. Ok that’s fair. Wouldn’t that be hard to take in?? Verses 18-20 is where Jesus gave what we call the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This was their instruction and ours too. This is the point of it all.
Command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This was their instruction and ours too. This is the point of it all.
Promise: Jesus promised he would be with us always.
Warning: There will always be those who want to discredit the truth. Even those who are most convinced OF the truth will try to deny it. Regardless, this is our mission and we can’t allow it to distract us from that mission.
Application: This chapter reminds me that there are people who see all of the facts, and are so dedicated to what they want to believe, or a lifestyle they want to preserve that they will fight it all the way. The religious leaders had position and authority that they didn’t want to lose. They were fighting to keep that life even if they were able to see that Jesus was who they believed he was. There are also people who may not comprehend all of the facts, but they have had an encounter with Jesus that they can’t deny. My mission is not to debate with people. It is to share my own testimony and make disciples- not to follow me as a person, but to follow my example as I follow after Christ. Jesus had plenty of people trying to distract him from his mission. He didn’t allow these distractions. He recognized the difference between honest questions and distractions. I don’t have the capacity to judge the heart, so I shouldn’t, BUT Jesus promised he would be with me and he gave me the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me so I need to listen to him when I speak with people. I need to set my own opinions to the side and ask God to show me the questions behind the questions that people are really asking. The questions coming from their hearts because that is where he meets us.