Matthew 28:11-18 “Exalting Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ”

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ The Redeemer Church Manhattan KS, 02 Feb 2014

Grey text indicates portions edited out at the last minute to keep the sermon under 40 minutes.


28:9 But while they were on their way to report to His disciples,

now look, Jesus encountered them saying, “Hello!”

Then the women came close and grabbed hold of His feet and bowed down to Him.

28:10 Then Jesus says to them,

“Stop being frightened.

Y’all go on, report to my brothers so that they may leave for Galilee,

and there they will see me!”

28:11 Now, as the women proceeded, (check this out)

some of the custody-guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests exactly all the happenings.

28:12 So after gathering together with the elders and also taking counsel,

they gave a considerable amount of silver to the soldiers,

28:13 saying,

“Y’all start saying that ‘His disciples came during the night and stole it while we were dead-asleep.’

28:14 And if this happens to be heard by the Governor,

we ourselves will persuade him, and we will make y’all free from cares.

28:15 So as for them, after receiving the silver, they did as they were instructed,

and this story was made famous among the Jews up to the present day.

28:16 But as for the eleven disciples, they proceeded into Galilee to the mountain

(which was what Jesus had arranged for them),

28:17 and after seeing Him, they bowed down to Him,

although there were those who were of two minds.

28:18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them saying,

“Every authority in heaven and upon earth was given to me,

28:19 therefore once y’all have proceeded,

start discipling all the ethnicities,

baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

28:20 and teaching them to keep all of whatever I commanded y’all,

and see, I myself am with y’all all your days until the conclusion of the age.

Introduction - Overview

·         Just over eight years ago, I drove from Southern Illinois to Manhattan Kansas and sat at the Zachary’s dining room table with Chip and Mark, hammering out a vision for a new church. Together we forged a four-point vision statement that was, in its own quiet way, revolutionary. I would like to take us back to that initial vision for Christ The Redeemer Church as we begin another year.

o       Over the last few weeks, we have meditated on the gospel account of the crucifixion of Christ and on His Great Commission, and this relates to the third point of that original vision statement, namely the priority of Evangelizing the World. We want to see this good news spread throughout our town and throughout the world and to see people saved.

o       Now, in this sermon, I want to focus on another one of those four vision points. Let me quote it to you: “We as a church exist to glorify God by: 1) Exalting our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As a community of believers in fellowship with one another, we seek to glorify God in all that we do. We worship, in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24), the triune God as revealed through His inerrant Word which gives us all that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3) and is the final authority in all doctrinal matters. The church is the pillar and buttress of truth (1 Tim 3:15), standing fast for the glory of God’s name.”

·         As we stand at the end of 150 sermons on Matthew and look back, we can’t miss the fact that Matthew consistently painted contrasts between two kinds of people:

o       On the one hand, there are those who refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is their King,

o       and on the other hand there are those who worship Him as the King.

·         Remember that Matthew, ever since chapter one, has presented Jesus to us as a KING:

o       He was of the royal descendents of David,

o       was worshipped by foreign magi,

o       when He was tempted, He rejected Satan’s counterfeit path to world power

o       He proclaimed the kingdom of God,

o       He demonstrated authority in lawgiving and interpreting the scriptures during the sermon on the Mount and during His teaching sessions in the temple,

o       He demonstrated authority as a divine judge in forgiving people’s sins,

o       He demonstrated kingly authority over the physical world by calming storms and feeding thousands, and authority over the spirit world by casting out demons.

o       then He was crucified because He claimed to be the King of the Jews,

o       and finally Matthew ends with His kingly Commission.

·         This is the bottom line for Matthew the Gospel-writer: “Jesus is the ultimate King. Will you submit yourself to Him and worship Him?”

Let’s look deeper into this theme as we consider the worshippers of Jesus vs. those who rejected His kingship in Matthew 28.


28:11 Now, as the women proceeded, (check this out) some of the custody-guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests exactly all the happenings.

Πορευομένων δὲ αὐτῶν ἰδού τινες τῆς κουστωδίας ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἀπήγγειλαν[1] τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν ἅπαντα τὰ γενόμενα.

·         Remember, Jesus has just told Mary and Mary and Salome and Joanna to go tell His brothers that He was alive again and to meet Him in Galilee. So verse 11 opens with the women obeying Jesus and goingKJV,ESV on their wayNAS,NIV to report this to the disciples. These are the worshippers who submit to Jesus’ kingship.

·         Verse 11 also describes a very different group of people, who were also on their way to give a report, namely the special custodial guard which Pilate had put under the command of the priests to make sure there was no funny business with Jesus’ dead body.

·         This vignette about the soldiers and the priests indicates that Matthew must have been privy to inside information known only to the priests and the guards. (By the way, if Matthew’s informant was one of the guards, then that guard, rather than the women, could have been an alternate source of the eyewitness account of the descent of the angel who rolled the stone from the tomb[2].)

·         Now, the Bible says “some” of the guards reported to the priests. It doesn’t tell us what the rest did.

o       Did most of the guards stay at the tomb, hoping that the consequences of failing in their guard duty might somehow be lessened if they were found still at their post?

o       Or did many of them not only look dead but actually die?

o       Or did they get up and run away, abandoning their careers as guards?

·         At any rate, some of those guards, decided to take the straight-up approach and tell their commissioners exactly what happened.

o       Perhaps they thought they could convince the priests that their antagonism toward Jesus was a bad idea.

o       Alternately, John Calvin suggested that these soldiers were cunning extortioners who knew that the priests would have a heart attack over their story and would bribe them not to tell what actually happened, so they were just coming for the money. (This would fit the stereotype of soldiers that John warned in Luke 3:14 to “be content with your wages.”)

o       By the way, if you’re reading out of the King James Version, the word “shewed” is the same word translated “tell” in verses 7 and 10.

o       And they “told all.” The word in the Greek which is translated “all the things” (or everythingNIV) is not the usual word for “all;” this Greek word indicates that they held absolutely nothing back, but it’s hard to bring that nuance over into English.[3]

·         Well, this was indeed startling news to the priests; it absolutely did not fit with the way they wanted the story of Jesus to end![4] This called for another council to figure out what to do.


28:12 So after gathering together with the elders and also taking counsel, they gave a considerable amount of silver to the soldiers,

καὶ συναχθέντες μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων συμβούλιόν τε λαβόντες ἀργύρια ἱκανὰ ἔδωκαν τοῖς στρατιώταις


28:13 saying, “Y’all start saying that ‘His disciples came during the night and stole it while we were dead-asleep[5]’.

λέγοντες· Εἴπατε ὅτι Οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ νυκτὸς ἐλθόντες ἔκλεψαν αὐτὸν ἡμῶν κοιμωμένων.

·         This is the seventh time that Matthew mentions the bad guys “assembling” or “taking counsel” to plot against Jesus. On the previous six occasions, it had always been one or the other – either a formal assembly or a formal counsel, but this time it is both an assembly and a counsel; this must have been a real emergency![6]

·         Have you ever wanted a certain thing to happen, and the more you fought for it, the more everything seemed set against you? I felt that way last Thursday as I went on a half-day prayer retreat to a cabin that had no heat or electricity. I was so excited about this special time with God. I had it all planned out. The temperature was in the ‘teens, but, I took a big propane heater and a bunch of papers with prayer requests plus some blank paper to write down thoughts. It was going to be great! So I got to the cabin and fired up the propane heater with the first match, but I let go of the safety valve too soon and the heater went out. The instructions say to wait five minutes and try again. On the second match, I held the safety valve down for extra long, and when I finally released it, yes, the heater stayed lit!… but as I pulled my hand away from the heater, I accidentally bumped the grill which activated another safety function that shut the heater off. I confess, I didn’t wait the full five minutes before striking the next match, but I finally got one of the two burners lit. Then I started trying to light the other burner, and, wouldn’t you know, the moment I got the other burner lit the first burner went out. I started getting mad. A few matches later, I finally got one burner lit again, and as I backed away to enjoy the heat, out of nowhere, a broom came flying through the air and bumped the heater, activating the safety-off again. I swear, I tried for an entire hour to start that heater until I was down to my last match. I started yelling at God, “Look, I came here to pray. Have you got some kind of problem with that? I’m supposed to be able to kneel in this cozy cabin away from all distractions and think and pray, but instead I’m miserable in this cold and You won’t let this confounded heater start. What the heck are you doing, God!?” I never did get that fool heater thing to light until it was time to leave.

·         When you find yourself in a situation like that – when things are not going the way you wanted them to go and you’re getting more and more frustrated and everything is going wrong, it is time to humble yourself, give up your agenda, and go with what God is doing instead.

·         It all starts with being a worshipper of Jesus Christ. Psalm 2 puts it this way, “The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His [Messiah], saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury… 10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (NASB)

·         Now, it’s entirely possible that some of the priests and elders were so committed to the belief that Jesus was not the Messiah that it never occurred to them that the soldier’s report might be true. To them it was obvious that Jesus’ followers must have bribed the soldiers to let them steal the body. That was the only “reasonable” explanation for the wild tale the soldiers were telling about angels coming out of the sky. (“Angels… yeah right…”) Therefore, the priests could have reasoned that if these soldiers could be bribed by Jesus’ disciples to tell such a ridiculous story about angels, then these soldiers could also be bribed to tell a different story; all that was needed was to give these soldiers a sufficientlyESV-larger sum of money to get them to tell the “right” story.

·         But the story they come up with is totally lame:

o       If the guards were asleep, how did they know who stole the body?

o       And if the body was stolen… Hello! You’re the police! Just find the dead body and then execute the disciples for breaking the seal on the tomb. The fact that they didn’t do that belies the fact that they believed the body wasn’t dead anymore.

·         Now, in Acts 12:19, the soldiers who were supposed to guard Peter in jail were executed for falling asleep and allowing him to escape with the angel. The punishment for a Roman soldier caught sleeping on guard duty was death, so there was also that “little” problem to address, and the priests continue to instruct the soldiers by saying…


28:14 And if this happens to be heard by the Governor, we ourselves will persuade him, and we will make y’all free from cares.

καὶ ἐὰν ἀκουσθῇ τοῦτο ἐπὶ[7] τοῦ ἡγεμόνος ἡμεῖς πείσομεν αὐτὸν[8] καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀμερίμνους[9] ποιήσομεν.

·         Of course, money is not evil in-and-of-itself; it is the love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil[10] (1 Tim 6:10), but have you noticed the pattern of these bad leaders to use money to solve awkward problems?

o       Thirty pieces of silver to Judas to betray Jesus,

o       Thirty pieces of silver to buy a field to bury Judas in,

o       and now who-knows-how-many[11] silver coins to bribe the guards into telling a lie.

o       And how will they win overNAS and satisfyNIV,ESV the guard’s superiors – or the governor, if the report gets to their ears[12]? I have one guess: money. (Acts 24:26 implies that Pilate’s successor Felix not only accepted bribes but actually solicited them.)

o       Now, all of these problems could have been solved without money by humbly admitting they were wrong, telling the truth, worshipping Jesus, and lovingly serving other people, but the Romans and the Jewish leaders are the antithesis in Matthew’s gospel; they show the wrong way to respond to the kingdom of Christ.

·         Anyway, by accepting this money, the soldiers did not actually make themselves secureKJV[13] or trouble-freeNAS,NIV; rather, they put themselves under the control of the priests because, for the rest of their lives they knew that if they did anything to displease those priests, the priests would pull this skeleton out of their closet (as it were) and accuse them of falling asleep while on guard duty and have them executed.

o       Blackmail is very effective. Joining in a lie will put you under a lifetime of bondage just like it did those soldiers,

o       but when you live in the truth and confess your sins, you have nothing to hide and nobody can control you but God (and that’s the way we want it to be)!


28:15 So as for them, after receiving the silver, they did as they were instructed, and this story was made famous [commonly reportedKJV] among the Jews up to the present day.

οἱ δὲ λαβόντες τὰ[14] ἀργύρια ἐποίησαν ὡς ἐδιδάχθησαν. καὶ διεφημίσθη[15] ὁ λόγος οὗτος παρὰ ᾿Ιουδαίοις μέχρι τῆς σήμερον [16].

·         I find it curious the way Matthew says that this sayingKJV/ this story was circulated particularly among the Jews. I suspect that the soldiers dutifully gave the priest’s version of the story when Jews asked them about it, but it was a different story when the soldiers were among their Roman buddies, and perhaps that’s how word got around to Matthew for him to put it into his gospel[17] – although we can’t rule out the possibility that God supernaturally revealed this information to Matthew without a human informant.

·         Meanwhile, the priests themselves probably did most of the spreadingNAS,ESV of that story. Justin Martyr says as much in a letter he wrote in the middle of the second century to a Jew named Trypho. In the 17th section he wrote, “when you [that is, the Jewish leaders] knew that He had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven as the prophets foretold He would, you not only did not repent of the wickedness which you had committed, but at that time you selected and sent out from Jerusalem chosen men through all the land to proclaim that the godless heresy of the Christians had sprung up, and to circulateNIV those things… Indeed, Isaiah [52:5] cries justly: ‘By reason of you, My name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.’”[18]

·         So the soldiers were successfully bought off. Nobody could have had more convincing proof that Jesus was the Son of God than these guys, and yet the gift of faith did not take root in them. Instead, they did what those who greased their palms directedESV or taughtKJV them to do.

·         Question: How much money would it take to buy you off?

o       How much would it take to get you keep your mouth shut about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection? Ten dollars? A hundred dollars? A thousand dollars? A million dollars? How much?

o       O.K. maybe money won’t buy you, but maybe popular opinion will. If I could get two people to turn their back on you for talking to them about Jesus, would that be enough to stop you? No? How about twenty? A hundred? A thousand people turning their backs on you and gossiping about what a loser you are?

o       I expect that Satan is making these very calculations for each one of us. What would it take to shut him up? What will it take to shut her up?

o       Are you going to be a worshipper of Christ or are you going to be part of the antithesis?

Now we move from the bad guys to the good guys. The guards proceeded as liars and students of the priests, but the 12 disciples – minus Judas – proceeded to obey Jesus, going to the appointedKJV/ designatedNAS spot to which Jesus had directedESV them, walking in the truth as disciples of the Lord[19].


28:16 But as for the eleven disciples, they proceeded into Galilee to the mountain, which was what Jesus had arranged for them,

Οἱ δὲ ἕνδεκα μαθηταὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, εἰς τὸ ὄρος οὗ ἐτάξατο αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς.


28:17 and after seeing Him, they bowed down to Him, although there were those who were of two minds.

καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν αὐτῷ[20], οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν[21].

·         As I’ve noted before, Matthew passes over most of the twelve post-resurrection appearances of Christ. The other Gospels tell us that it was 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension, so there was time for extensive travel and meetings. The event Matthew describes occurred after the disciples had travelled the almost-100 miles from Jerusalem to Galilee. Later they would travel back to Jerusalem, from whence Jesus would ascend to heaven, and the disciples would stay there ten more days until the Holy Spirit fell upon them during the Pentecost festival. But for now they’re up North near the Sea of Galilee.

·         Many scholars[22] believe that this message to rendezvous at a certain mountain in Galilee after Jesus’ death created quite a tide of interest throughout Galilee and that the 500+ persons, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:6, who saw Jesus after His resurrection were the crowd that gathered in anticipation of this very meeting described by Matthew.

·         The response of the people who encountered Jesus there is instructive:

o       The Greek word here commonly translated “worship” literally means that the disciples prostrated themselves on the ground before Jesus,

o       but we must understand the cultural implications of this as an act of worship. Remember the story of Mordecai in the book of Esther? Remember how much trouble Mordecai got into when he refused to bow to Haman? Jews did not bow down to any man, because that was considered an act of worship, and Jews only worshipped the one true God. The disciples are acknowledging Jesus to be God!

o       This is very much like the other accounts of what people did throughout the Gospels when they encountered Jesus. They bowed before Him in worship.

o       These examples inform us of how to relate to Jesus ourselves. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on this passage wrote, “[W]e must embrace Jesus Christ offered us in the gospel with reverence, cast ourselves as His feet, by faith take hold of Him, and with love and joy lay Him near our hearts.”

·         There were, however, disciples there who were not sure what to think.

o       Distazw, the Greek word here translated “doubt” by most English versions, is not the Greek word usually used for “doubt[23].” The root here is the Greek word for the number two, as in, being “of two minds.” Why was where this doubt or divided opinion?

o       Most Bible scholars seem to think that their doubts concerned Jesus’ identity.

§         John Calvin explained that Jesus was wearing His glorified body (which was able to walk through locked doors without opening them), and it may have looked more strong and radiant and impressive than the earthly body He had previously worn, so it took some relational time with Jesus to realize that this was the same person because there were some things different in His looks.

§         Other commentators have come from a different angle, saying that they were unsure of His identity because, when they first saw Him, He was too far away to see clearly. Notice that the next verse states that Jesus then “drew near” to them, at which point they probably could see more clearly that it really was Jesus[24].

o       On the other hand, the doubt could have stemmed from how to respond. “We don’t bow to people because people aren’t God, but this guy is something else. I’m not quite sure how to respond to the Messiah when He appears as a man. Do I bow or not?”

o       Or it could have been more serious doubts as to whether or not Jesus was who He said He was. Perhaps for some in the crowd, they still doubted that He was really the Son of God, the Messiah who takes away the sin of the world.

o       Do you ever struggle with any of those types of doubt? The “I’m not sure whether that’s really You, Jesus,” or the “I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing right now, Jesus,” or the, “I just don’t trust you, Jesus”? When these doubts come, just do what you can to worship Him and let Him draw near to you, and He will make everything right.

·         Remarkably, Jesus does not chide them for their doubts or call them “little-faith” like He did on the boat in chapter 14. Instead He utters marching orders that have been ringing throughout history in the lives of His followers: 28:18 “Every authority in heaven and upon earth was given to me, 28:19 therefore once y’all have proceeded, start discipling all the ethnicities, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 28:20 teaching them to keep all of whatever I commanded y’all, and see, I myself am with y’all all your days until the conclusion of the age. The King has given His orders; will you worship Him and obey?

In Conclusion… What would it look like for us to Exalt our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

·         First, we can learn what it doesn’t look like from the negative examples of the priests and others:

o       Stop fighting against God and trying to do things your way. Stop spreading lies about God. Give in and worship Jesus!

o       Don’t sell out to the antithesis like Judas and the soldiers did. The world is desperately afraid that if you uphold the truth and worship God they will be exposed as the bad guys. Don’t be afraid of them, and, by all means, don’t fall for their enticing offers to shut you up. They’re not worth it.

·         We can also learn how to worship Jesus from the many positive examples in the Bible. Matthew 28 gives us one example, but there are many others[25], such as: The Magi’s visit (Matt. 2:11), The woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:33), Peter, upon seeing the miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5:8), The lepers (Mark 1:40), Jairus, the synagogue official with the sick slave (Matt. 9:18/Luke 8:41), The disciples on the lake in the storm (Matt. 14:32-33), The lame man Jesus healed in the temple (John 9:38), The Canaanite woman on the way to Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 15:22-27), Bar­timaeus and the other blind man in Jericho (Matt. 20:30), and the Women at the tomb (Matt. 28:9). Here are some common threads I see in the positive examples:

  1. They bowed down – Of course, true faith is not primarily about outward behavior, so there is no room for legalism about this, but bowing is a valid way to express honor to Jesus. If you have never used kneeling or bowing as a posture for prayer, try it sometimes, but do it to worship Jesus, not just for show!
  2. Often when people encountered Jesus, they uttered exclamations about the truth of who He is – As they bowed down they said things like:
    1. “Our Lord and Master” (Luke 5:8, John 9:38, 11:32, Acts 9:9),
    2. “You are the Son of God” (Matt. 14:33, Mk. 3:11),
    3. and, “Son of David” (Mt. 15:22, 20:30).
    4. Likewise we should speak aloud the truth of who Jesus is.
    5. We could even say what the elders in heaven said in John’s vision when they bowed down to worship, “We thank You, O Lord God, the Almighty, who is and who was; because you wield your great power and you reign” (Rev. 11:16-17).
    6. This should not only be done in worship with other believers, but should be taken to the streets and told to people who haven't heard, as the shepherds did after seeing Jesus in the manger (Luke 2:17). That’s worship too!

So, bow down and speak up! A third thing that we see people doing when they worshipped Jesus is they offered…

  1. Prayer Requests - In the confidence that Jesus is the Almighty God who can do anything, we come to God with needs – healing from sickness being one of the more common ones.
    1. “Have mercy on us” (Mt. 20:30), blind Bartimaeus frantically yelled,
    2. “Come into my house” (Luke 8:41) and “heal my child” (Mt. 9:18) begged Jairus,
    3. “Help my unbelief” (Mk. 9:24) cried the father of the demon-possessed boy,
    4. or, how about this one: “Lord, help me!” (Matt. 15:27) That’s what the Canaanite woman said, and it’s a very Biblical prayer!
    5. I love John Newton’s words in the hymn: “Come, my soul, thy suit prepare; Jesus loves to answer prayer! For His grace and power are such none could ever ask too much. Thou art coming to a King; large petitions with thee bring!”

Now, in addition to words of praise and prayer, we see that people who encountered Jesus also…

  1. Confessed their sin and their need for a savior - Our sin should bring us humbly before Jesus. We meet Him confessing our rebellion against Him and asking for forgiveness.
    1. “I am a sinful man,” confessed Peter (Luke 5:8).
    2. And the man with leprosy – which also symbolized sin – prayed, “Lord, make me clean” (Mark 1:40). That’s a good example for us to pray.
    3. There is even the word the crowds spoke at Jesus' triumphal entry, “Hosanna” (Save us!) that implied they needed to be saved.
    4. Jesus honors these requests. He delights in washing our sin away!

Now, I noticed one more act of worship which happened when people encountered Jesus, and that is…

  1. Present-giving
    1. The Magi gave Jesus costly gifts (Matt. 2:11),
    2. Mary poured out that precious alabaster bottle of perfume (Mt. 26:7),
    3. Joseph of Arimathea offered his fancy tomb,
    4. And many other women “ministered” unto Jesus out of their means (Mt. 27:55).
    5. Our encounter with Jesus should include giving ourselves – and all that we have – as a living sacrifice to be used to honor Jesus and do His will on the earth.

·         Can you see why we do what we do in corporate worship, when we gather together as a church? We are just following the examples of worship in the Gospels!

·         There are, of course, many more principles for worship throughout the Old Testament Law and Prophets and in the New Testament Epistles and Acts which should be added to these examples, but we will save that for another time!

·         For now, I encourage you to live as worshippers of Jesus, Bowing before Him, Speaking Praise, Confessing Sin, Praying for Requests, and Giving Offerings.

[1] Nestle-Aland reference in a footnote four Greek manuscripts (א, D, Θ, 565) which use the prefix an- (“up”) instead of ap- (“out”) but it makes no real difference in translation with the root of angellw (“to bear a message”).

[2] Chrysostom thought this to be the case.

[3] Cf. the other two uses of this word in Matthew - 6:32 “He knows every one of your needs,” and 24:39 “the flood took away absolutely all of them.”

[4] “Thus the sign of the prophet Jonas was brought to the chief priests with the most clear and incontestable evidence that could be…” ~Matthew Henry

[5] This kpoimw word seems to connote the “death-like” nature of sleep. All the other occasions in Matthew where people are mentioned as “sleeping” (except for when the soldiers were stricken at the tomb) use other words: either hupnow – which connotes the “senselessness” of sleep, or katheudw – which connotes the “lying-down” posture of rest or sleep. While the word here, koimw- is occasionally used to denote literal sleep and while the other words are occasionally used to denote death, koimw is used more often than the others to mean “dead.”

[6] #1. Matt. 12:14, #2. 22:15, #3 22:34 &41, #4. 26:3 & 57, #5. 27:1, #6 27:62, and now the seventh convention! By the way, it would be possible to read labontes (“they took”) as separated from sumbolion (“council”) by the te conjunction, indicating a separate verb describing the budgeting of the bribe money, but the te is a postpositive particle which can’t stand as the first word in the phrase and thus is probably not intended to separate the phrase “having taken council.”

[7] A few Greek manuscripts (incl. B, D, 0148) substitute the preposition hupo (“under”) instead of the preposition epi (“upon”).

[8] Omitted in א, B, Θ, and 33, thus omitted in Westcott’s critical edition, but, quite surprisingly included in Nestle-Aland’s Critical edition and thus in the current UBS edition. However, even if omitted, the context is clear enough that it would make no practical difference in meaning.

[9] Only found in the Greek Bible here and in 1 Cor. 7:32 “I want you to be free from cares… unmarried”

[10] Perhaps that temptation to love money is why Jesus had His disciples on their first missionary journey take no money with them: to train them out of the “money is the answer to everything” mindset and teach them to solve problems with love instead.

[11] Cf. the other two uses of hikanos in Matthew – 3:11 “I am not worthy to untie his sandals” 8:8 “I am not worthy for you to come under my roof.”

[12] Gets toNIV or Comes to the ears ofKJV,NAS,ESV are both oddly-idiomatic renderings of the Greek verb akouw which simply means “heard.” Lenski maintained that it meant a formal court hearing, which may be, but not necessarily.

[13] This is a different word from the kind of security-measures taken at the tomb at the end of chapter 27 (asphalis). This is actually an alpha-privative of the word for care or responsibility (amerimnous).

[14] Omitted in א, B, W, and 0234, thus omitted in Westcott’s critical edition, but, quite surprisingly included in Nestle-Aland’s Critical edition and thus in the current UBS edition. However the presence or non-presence of a definite article makes no practical difference in meaning.

[15] Only here, Mt. 9:31, and Mark 1:45 in the Greek Bible, all three in cases of widespread information by word of mouth.

[16] Matthew 11:23 is the only other passage in the Greek Bible which uses this phrase “until today.” Four Greek Uncials (B, D, L, Θ) add the word ημερας (“day”) here at the end of 28:15, so Critical editions of the Greek New Testament include this word in brackets, but it’s not in the majority of Greek manuscripts (including א, A, W, etc.), and it doesn’t change the meaning because it is redundant to the meaning of the previous word, so I see no reason to add it to the traditional text.

[17] I think that the choice of the preposition para (literally “beside” the Jews) instead of en supports this hypothesis.

[18] Translation from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1

[19] The hoi introducing v.15 and then v.16 really sets off the two groups in antithesis, thus my translation, “So as for them [the solders]… but as for the eleven…”

[20] “To him” is in the majority of Greek manuscripts (incl. A, K, W, 074, 0148, etc.), thus in the Patristic and Textus Receptus editions of the Greek New Testament as well as in most ancient translations, but it’s not in Critical editions or in the Vulgate because it’s not in 4 manuscripts, two of which are the oldest known (א, B, D, 33). I don’t think that is reason enough to omit the autw, but then again, the context is such that it means the same thing whether or not the pronoun is there explicitly.

[21] Matthew is the only Bible author who uses this word. It is only found here and Matt. 14:31

[22] Among which are ATR, JFB, and Hendriksen.

[23] The other 7 times that people in the N.T. are spoken of as “doubting,” a different word is used (diakrinw/dilogizw), although James 1:5-8 uses diakrinw and another form of the Greek word for “two” as synonyms: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded (dipsuchos) man, unstable in all his ways. (NASB)

[24] This position has been propounded by Matthew Henry, William Hendriksen, and R.C. Sproul.

[25] See a more comprehensive list at . See also for more Biblical context on worship.