By Brooke Holt
“The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.” Matthew 28:16
My mother always said I needed to learn things the hard way. For some reason, even as a young child, I was stubborn and often slow to understand and obey her directives. It comforts me to see the same behavior in the disciples of Jesus Christ. Though they have spent three years with Jesus, though he has taught them individually and in their small group as well as among the masses, they often were slow to understand and slow to obey.
On this day, we see no hesitancy. Mary brought the report Jesus was alive and would meet the disciples in Galilee, and they went just as they had been directed to do.
This may seem the obvious thing to do as curiosity must have burned within them. Could Jesus really be alive? Would they really get to see him? But let’s pause for a moment and consider who gave these men instructions that day. In Matthew’s Gospel, this marks the first gathering of the disciples since Jesus’ arrest. They have not seen Jesus with their eyes; they have only heard from the women that Jesus was alive.
Remember who went to the tomb early Sunday morning? Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went (see Matthew 28:1). These women pushed through grief and fear to go and tend to Jesus’ body, and these brave women were entrusted with the greatest revelation ever – Jesus was alive!
How ironic! At that time, women were not allowed to testify in courts, but Jesus chose them to be the first to testify to his resurrection. During that day, women received orders instead of giving them, yet Jesus entrusted them with his instructions for the disciples. All throughout his ministry, Jesus elevated women. He walked with them, ate with them, taught them, did ministry with them, and then entrusted women with the message of his resurrection.
To the disciples’ credit, they listened to the women’s message, they believed the women, and they obeyed the instructions shared by the women. They went to the mountain in Galilee expecting to meet the Lord. Their faithful obedience was rewarded as Jesus did meet them there. Once again, they saw their beloved friend who was now their Messiah and their Savior.
At times, the Lord uses unlikely people to instruct you. The Lord does not see as you do or judge as you judge. Ask to see with his eyes and perceive with his heart.
How do you receive Jesus’ word and instruction? Do you focus on the message or the messenger? Jesus uses the most unlikely people. Are you willing to listen and obey as these disciples did? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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