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  • Writer's picturePastor Curtis A. May

To believe or not to believe.

Sermon article for Sunday June 4, 2023

Matthew 28:16 16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.

Note that they are called disciples here and not apostles. This is not to confuse us but to let us know that the apostles were also disciples. They too have followed Jesus to learn what the teacher was teaching to all of His disciples. They too were learning the Good News and what it means for all who believe.

There are many who are confused with the statement of believers. Anyone can believe in Jesus Christ but not all believers follow Jesus Christ and obey the Good News. An unbeliever is one who follows false god’s and are easily persuaded to follow evil and the evil of the world.

A true follower of Jesus Christ is going to show the love of Christ through grace and mercy. That is one who follows Christ, understands, and is willing to forgive and help one another. In other words, if you are not for Jesus Christ, you are against Him and have made yourself an enemy of Jesus Christ.

This is the risen Lord who has appeared to the apostles/disciples through a period of forty days, (Acts 1:3). It is recorded that through this forty days Jesus appeared eight times to the apostles and disciples. In John 20:30 Jesus did many more unrecorded signs in the presence of His disciples.

This is one of those times after His resurrection that Jesus appeared to His disciples. The eleven being together saw Jesus and overwhelmed by His presence they worshiped Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. We could imagine by this time most of the disciples of Jesus believe.

Matthew 28:17 17And when they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted.

Most of the eleven believed, but some doubted. We do not always trust what we see. That some doubt should not be surprising to us. After the Hebrews escaped Egypt through the parted Red Sea and following whirling clouds of fire and white cloud, some doubted that God was with them.

After surviving a time in the desert, most fell away when Moses took too long on the top of Mount Sinai collecting the commandments of God. After battling and conquering lands and cities to receive their promised land, many turned their back on God. So many times, God has shown Himself and still many have had doubts and turned to false gods and false philosophies.

If we are not confronted by God every day and every hour, we still forget that God is with us. So, no it is not surprising that some doubt that Jesus Christ the resurrected Lord was truly standing there before them.

Jesus looked real; He did not look like some heavenly aberration. What they saw was another human like being in the form and likeness of Jesus Christ. Could He be an imposter? We always seem to have room for doubt and the evil one loves it when it happens.

Matthew 28:18 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

If this is not Jesus, could He say that He has been given all authority? Not just authority but that which comes from heaven and earth. The prince of the world might think he has rule over the world, but in truth Jesus Christ the Son of God, God Himself controls everything. So yes, Jesus rightly claims authority over all things as it was given to Him by His Father.

God is in control, not those who try and recreate God in their image. God created us in His image, and we are not greater than the one who created us. Some might think they have authority over others, but in the end of “time” God will prevail over all things. We will bow with bended knee not because we must, not because we will be made to, but compellingly and willingly out of admiration, praise, thanks, and glory for our God.

Matthew 28:19 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

How do we bow to our Lord and savior now? We obey the faith given to us by the Holy Spirit, listen to the Holy Spirit, know God’s word, and believe Jesus Christ came to suffer and die for our sins. Giving Jesus Christ the glory for our being and our eternal life with Him. We follow Jesus Christ through the Good News.

Certainly, we bow down to our God by spreading His Good News so that everyone may be baptized into the Kingdom of God. Knowing that we are saved because Jesus Christ took the punishment for our sins by willingly giving up His Body and Blood. This alone should compel us to spread the news worth sharing, a news worth being joyful over, for it is salvation, the Good News is Salvation from God.

Matthew 28:20 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We teach the Good News, this is the command from God, love one another as He first loved us. Love God, He gives us grace, mercy, forgiveness, and eternal life in His Love! God is Great!... He has risen!... Amen.

Written by Pastor Curtis A. May


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