The Book of Matthew

Friday: Commitment

Matthew 7:28-29 In this week’s lessons, we conclude our study of the Sermon on the Mount by focusing on Jesus’ authority, seen in both His words and works.
Theme
Commitment

Yesterday, we looked at the first evidence for the resurrection of Christ. Today we continue with three more.

Second, there is the evidence of the grave clothes. When Peter and the beloved disciple (who was probably John) arrived at the tomb on that first Easter morning, the body of Jesus was gone, but—and this was the remarkable thing—the grave clothes had remained behind. They were wrapped as they had been when they were wound around the body. They were not unwound. The napkin, which had been around the head, was there also in a place by itself. And yet the body was gone. The only thing that could possibly account for this state of things was the passing of Jesus’ body through the grave clothes just as it was later to pass through closed doors. In other words, there must have been not a resuscitation, but a resurrection.

The third line of evidence is found in Christ’s appearances. These are strengthened by the fact that He appeared to many different types of people, to different size groups of people, and under a wide variety of circumstances. This argument was so commanding that Paul appealed to it when writing to the Corinthians, showing that Jesus was “seen of Peter, then of the twelve. After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James: then, of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time” (1 Cor. 15:3-8).

Finally, the truth of the resurrection is shown by the transformation of the disciples. Men who once were cowardly, and who after the death of Jesus were abjectly despondent, suddenly were filled with joy, love, faith, power and new confidence, and were ready to lay down their lives for their Master. What can account for such an extreme transformation? Certainly, there is no explanation short of the fact of the resurrection and of their having seen the resurrected Lord.

What does all of this mean to you personally? The people who heard the Lord Jesus Christ in Galilee on the occasion of His preaching of this Sermon were “astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” And yet, it is not said that any who heard Him that day believed in His doctrine or committed themselves to Him completely. Unfortunately, it is possible to do the same thing in our far more hectic and perhaps more sophisticated century.

What is the most important message of this Sermon? Certainly, it is the person of Jesus of Nazareth Himself, the Son of God, who spoke as no man had ever spoken before or since, who lived as He preached, and who then died and rose again that He might offer us a full and perfect salvation. Do you believe that? Have you committed your life to His care? If you will make that commitment, He will then do for you all that He has promised. He will make you blessed in the sense given to that word in the Beatitudes. He will make you the salt of the earth, a light in this dark world. He will interpret the Scripture to you through the Holy Spirit. He will teach you to pray. And He will carry you through all the cares and tumults of this life to an eternity of unbroken fellowship with Him.

Do you believe it? Today He is speaking to you and He is saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Let your own heart answer, “Never man spoke like this man” (John 7:46). “Yes, Lord, I want you to be my Savior.”

Study Questions
  1. What is the second piece of evidence for the resurrection? Why is this important?
  2. When Paul mentions the various resurrection appearances by Christ, why is it significant that Paul indicates that not all of the people involved have died?
Application

Prayer: Ask the Lord to work in the lives of those who have a knowledge of the Bible, but who need to come to Christ in faith and repentance, committing to live as His disciple.

Key Point: What is the most important message of this Sermon? Certainly, it is the person of Jesus of Nazareth Himself, the Son of God, who spoke as no man had ever spoken before or since, who lived as He preached, and who then died and rose again that He might offer us a full and perfect salvation.

For Further Study: Download for free and listen to Philip Ryken’s message, “All Authority and Power.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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