• To public — Edited

    Below are notes and observation on my research and reading through the Bible. Scroll down to find notes on F-260 readings (this Faithlife platform lists my notes in the order I posted them, not according to biblical reference). YOU CAN JOIN MY GROUP HERE: https://kgbc.churchcenter.com/groups/sunday-groups/walking-in-his-steps The name "Walking in His Steps" is taken from my Sunday Bible Study Class - I'll let you know when we begin to meet again.
  • Our Marching Orders
    His last command must be our first concern. Barton writes: On the basis of his authority, Jesus told his disciples to go and make disciples as they preached, baptized, and taught. “Making disciples” means instructing new believers on how to follow Jesus, to submit to Jesus’ lordship, and to take up his mission of compassionate service. To be a disciple means entering a relationship of learner to Master (Teacher) with Jesus. The church must not merely evangelize, but it also must show new converts how to obey Jesus’ commands. Discipleship must be stressed without neglecting evangelism. “Baptism” is important because it unites a believer with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way, and identification with God’s covenant people. To baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit affirms the reality of the Trinity, the concept coming directly from Jesus himself. He did not say baptize them into the “names,” but into the “name” of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While the word “Trinity” does not occur in Scripture, it well describes the three-in-one existence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (See also Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 12:4–6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:4–6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.)
    1. All Authority
      When someone is dying or leaving us, we pay close attention to his or her last words. Jesus left the disciples with these last words of instruction: • They were under his authority. • They were to make disciples. • They were to baptize and teach these new disciples to obey Christ. • They would have Christ with them always.
      1. Some Were Doubtful
        In this passage, do we see only the eleven disciples or many more people, and if so, who were these other people? After all, who were the ones who doubted? Refer back to Jesus appearing to the disciples (with Thomas present) where he removes all doubt. "Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” - John 20:27 So who was doubtful at the Great Commission? Maybe they were doubtful they could accomplish the Great Commission, but I suspect that more people were present on this mountaintop. Many more. Let's bring in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8. This is the only reference to Jesus appearing to more that 500 brethren at one time. Could it be that any doubters would come from this crowd? Barton writes about doubt: No Christian grows in faith without some doubt. The five-year-olds who took in every Bible story will become the fifteen-year-olds who want to know how, what, why, when, and where. And they will grow, too, and press for deeper answers along the way. When you doubt, don’t be discouraged. It’s not a sin nor a failure. It’s a normal part of spiritual growth. Keep talking with thoughtful Christian friends and teachers, keep studying and praying, keep serving the Lord, and keep asking questions and looking for answers. God gave you a mind to discover his truth. Don’t let anyone tell you that discovery is wrong.
        1. The Events of Easter
          Here is what we find in Matthew 28... Problem (Matthew 28:1) - they could not do this work on the Sabbath so they waited until the Sabbath was over. Power (Matthew 28:2) - there was a severe earthquake that morning (see Matthew 27:51 - the same or different event?). Presence (Matthew 28:2-3) - the angel sat upon the stone. Petrified (Matthew 28:4) - the guards were terrified and became like dead men. Perspective (Matthew 28:5) - do not be afraid, I'm about to help you understand what you are experiencing. Person (Matthew 28:5) - you're looking for Jesus who had been crucified, but he is not here. Proof (Matthew 28:6) - come see where he was lying. Plan (Matthew 28:7) - go quickly and tell his disciples. Participation (Matthew 28:7) - meet him in Galilee, he is going before you and has your marching orders. Proclamation (Matthew 28:10) - take my word to the brethren, they will see me in Galilee.
          1. Lies, Lies, Lies
            There is the fact of an empty tomb. So, how can this be explained? The Wrong Tomb? The women did not go to the wrong tomb because they were there on Friday (Matthew 27:61). Stolen Body? The disciples did not steal the body, but the religious leaders came up with this lie to explain the empty tomb. And this explanation story was widely told even "to this day." Barton writes: This may have seemed like a logical explanation, but they didn’t think through the details. Why would Jesus’ disciples, who already had run off on him at his arrest, risk a return at night to a guarded and sealed tomb in an effort to steal a body—an offense that could incur the death penalty? If they had done so, would they have taken the time to unwrap the body and leave the graveclothes behind? If this had occurred while the guards were asleep, how could the guards possibly have known that the disciples came during the night and stole the body? If this truly happened, why didn’t the religious leaders arrest the disciples in order to prosecute them? The story was full of holes and the guards would have to admit to negligence on their part, so getting them to spread this rumor required a large sum of money. If the governor (Pilate) were to hear the story, the Jewish leaders promised to intervene for the guards, satisfy Pilate with the made-up rumor, and keep the guards out of trouble.
            1. Stealing the Body
              This is an interesting accusation because if the disciples had stolen the body, 1) how could they have done it with the extra guards, and 2) when faced with death for preaching the resurrection, it seems they would have fessed up admitting it was a hoax rather than be executed. Barton adds: Whereas the disciples in their despair had probably forgotten about Jesus’ promise of resurrection, the leaders hadn’t forgotten. Nonetheless, the religious leaders did not believe Jesus’ claims, but they were afraid of fraud—after all, the body had been taken down by two followers of Jesus. The Pharisees wanted Pilate to seal the stone to make sure that no one would steal Jesus’ body and claim he had risen from the dead. They tried to take every precaution that his body would remain in the tomb. The first deception they referred to was Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah; the last deception would be a falsified claim to rising from the dead that would be used to support the first. The Jewish leaders did not want to have to answer to the people about such a turn of events.
              1. The Tombs Were Opened
                At the time of Jesus' death, a couple events listed here should have convinced a lot of people that Jesus was more than an inconvenience to the religious establishment. Barton writes about the curtain: These significant events symbolized what Christ’s work on the cross had accomplished. The temple had three main parts—the courts, the holy place (where only the priests could enter), and the most holy place, reserved by God for himself. It was in the most holy place that the ark of the covenant rested. The room was entered only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, by the high priest as he made a sacrifice to gain forgiveness for the sins of all the nation (Leviticus 16:1–34). The curtain of the temple may have been the outer curtain hanging between the court with the altar for burnt offerings and the actual sanctuary (Exodus 26:37; 38:18), or it may have been the curtain hanging between the two areas of the sanctuary—that is, between the holy place and the most holy place (also called the Holy of Holies, see Exodus 26:31–35; Leviticus 16:2, 12–15). Most likely, the curtain that was torn was between the holy place and the most holy place. Symbolically, that curtain separated the holy God from sinful people. By tearing the curtain in two from top to bottom, God showed that Jesus had opened the way for sinful people to reach a holy God. Barton writes about the tombs opening: In Scripture, earthquakes symbolized God’s mighty acts (see Judges 5:4; 1 Kings 19:11; Psalm 114:7–8; Isaiah 29:6; Joel 3:16; Nahum 1:5–6; Matthew 28:2; Acts 16:26; Revelation 6:12; 8:5). Tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. The opening of the tombs and people coming back to life revealed that by Jesus’ death, the power of death was broken. Whether this event happened at Jesus’ death or at his resurrection (for the people did not go into the city until after Jesus’ resurrection), the resurrection of Jesus and of these holy people inaugurated the new age of salvation, the beginning of the “Last Days.” (See also Ezekiel 37:1–14 and Daniel 12:2 for the Jewish expectation of a bodily resurrection.) MacArthur writes: Matthew alone mentions this miracle. Nothing more is said about these people, which would be unlikely if they remained on earth for long. Evidently, these people were given glorified bodies; they appeared “to many” (Matthew 27:53), enough to establish the reality of the miracle; and then they no doubt ascended to glory—a kind of foretaste of 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
                1. His Blood is on Us
                  This verse is chilling, especially when we realize how the Jews have been persecuted through the centuries. Barton writes: The phrase “his blood be on us and on our children” was an Old Testament idiom (see 2 Samuel 1:16; 3:28). It meant that the people as a whole (the entire crowd, not just the leaders) willingly took responsibility for Jesus’ death. This verse has been misused down through history to label the Jews as “Christ-killers,” but this crowd had no authority to pledge the nation in responsibility for Jesus’ death. It was merely the attempt of an unruly mob to persuade Pilate to do what it wanted. Similarly Pilate, by handing Jesus over, was just as guilty as anyone. The early church may well have seen this crowd’s words fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. While Matthew may have pictured “the people as a whole” as all the Jews of the nation rejecting their Messiah, he also knew that, as with the Old Testament prophecies, a faithful few always remained. The first disciples, and indeed the first believers in the early church, were Jews who became Christians. Yet this rejection, and acceptance of the guilt of Jesus’ death, signaled the end of the privileged status of the Jewish nation (see Matthew 21:43).
                  1. The Son of the Father
                    Pilate brings up the tradition of releasing a prisoner as a sign of goodwill. The guy's name was Barabbas. Interestingly enough, the man's name means "Son of the Father" so Pilate is asking to release this "son of the father" or that "Son of the Father" (since Jesus is God's Son).
                    1. The Remorse of Judas
                      Judas apparently realizes the error of his ways but is he an example of repentance of just remorse? Paul teaches us that godly sorrow leads us to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Barton writes: Judas, seized with remorse at having betrayed Jesus, went back to the chief priests and elders (Matthew 26:14–16). Jesus had been condemned to die, and Judas realized, “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” Regretting that he had turned Jesus over to the religious leaders, Judas changed his mind, but it was too late.