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Matthew 28 Reading Guide

Dig In:

Chapter Overview:

  • v1-10 - The women show up early in the morning to finish dressing Jesus' body for burial, only to be met by an angel announcing Jesus' resurrection, just as He said He would. They meet the resurrected Jesus who sends them as His first missionaries to tell the disciples.

  • v11-15 - The Jewish establishment buys off the guards to keep the amazing event they just witnessed under wraps.

  • v16-20 - The Great Commission (see below).

Dig Deeper:

If you've been a Christian for any length of time, you've had occasion to doubt. It can feel lonely looking around the sanctuary, thinking you're the only one, but be reminded that you're not the first to doubt. Some of the disciples, with the risen Christ standing directly before them, doubted:

[17] When they saw him,

they worshiped him;

but some doubted.

Yet even in this uncertain time, Jesus gently guides them into certainty:

[18] Then Jesus came to them and said,

“All authority

in heaven

and on earth

has been given to me.

Be reminded of this as you go through your day today: Jesus has control of all things. But this truth has a huge implication for you. That's why Jesus' next word is:

[19] Therefore...

Jesus doesn't tell you about His authority of all things just so you can feel warm and fuzzy. He has expectations for you:

[19] Therefore go make disciples

of all people,

baptizing them into the name

of the Father

and of the Son

and of the Holy Spirit,

[20] and teaching them

to keep

everything I have commanded you.

It's easy to think of this as a verse for missionaries who are to go out to the far reaches of the world to reach the nations. Certainly that's an implication of this passage, but I've given it a more wooden translation than you might be used to in order to emphasize that this command is for all Christians.

First of all, notice that there's only one command in this passage: make disciples. This has a two fold implication for you. First of all, you have an obligation to be constantly built up in your own discipleship (this is a never ending construction project). What are some ways you are fulfilling this aspect of Christ's command?

Secondly, you must be taking what you're learning and use it to disciple other people (that word, often translated 'nations,' is the Greek word ethnos, which is often rendered as 'gentile,' but simply means people of all ethnicities). Some people have the gifts and talents to directly teach others, while other people have abilities that are more subtle, supporting these teachers from behind the scenes.

Making disciples is one of the primary ways you can fulfill another command of Jesus: to build up treasure in heaven. What are some ways you are fulfilling this aspect of Christ's command?


Deuteronomy 31:8, 12-13 (NIV)

[8] The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

[12] Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. [13] Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL— The final words of Jesus in this gospel are known as “the Great Commission.” How much of it can you recall?

Thomas, Mack. The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, the omnipotent, sovereign God controlling all things, who has given all authority to our Savior, Jesus Christ

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the desire and strength to be discipled and to make disciples



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