Friday, September 2, 2016

September 2 - Matthew 28

Today's reading in our daily plan is Matthew 28. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This chapter features the central event of all of history: the resurrection of Jesus.
  • There are two things to note in this chapter that give historical credibility to Jesus' resurrection:
    • Women were the first people to discover Jesus resurrection and give testimony about it. In that day the testimony of women was not considered trustworthy. In fact, a woman's testimony was not accepted in court. If the story of the resurrection was just made up, there is no way they would have had woman as the first eyewitnesses. The only reason to report that women discovered the resurrection is because it actually happened that way.
    • The Roman government went to great lengths to ensure that Jesus was really dead and would stay in his tomb. They had put a rock to cover the tomb that was huge and heavy and not easily moved, and they stationed guards to make sure no one messed with the tomb. These guards were highly motivated; if they failed, they would be killed.
  • The last words of this book are a command Jesus gives to all his disciples, which is often called the "Great Commission." The mission Jesus gives us is to make disciples. A disciple is a follower of Jesus. The way Jesus says we make disciples is to baptize them and then teach them to obey all Jesus commanded. And remember, Jesus said His primary command is for us to love God and love people (see Matthew 22:36-40).
  • Jesus ends with a promise: that he will be with us always.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The resurrection of Jesus really happened, and changes everything. It means we have hope in this life, and that this life is not all there is.
  • Jesus' mission is to help connect people to God. He's given you that mission. If you follow Jesus, the mission of your life is to help other people follow Jesus.
  • Jesus' promise that he will be with us is given in direct connection to his command that we share our faith in him with others and help them follow him. When we really need God's presence is when we're engaging in Jesus' mission and sharing our faith. When we really feel God's presence is when we're engaging in Jesus' mission and sharing our faith. If you don't feel God's presence much, is it because you're not engaging much in Jesus' mission?

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • If you have doubts or questions about whether the resurrection really happened, take our Verve University course called "Verge"(coming in October) where you will learn a lot more evidence for Jesus and for his resurrection. You'll learn not only why to believe, and what Christians believe, but also how to have a growing relationship with God and how it changes your life.
  • If you follow Jesus, it's a result of the first disciples' obedience to Jesus final command. Now it's our turn to obey and join the movement. You have been commissioned by Jesus to make disciples. So who has God put in your life that you can share his love with today? Who can you invite to Verve? It's your life's mission, so don't miss out on it.