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They Worshiped Him

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2022 12:01 am

They Worshiped Him

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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May 23, 2022 12:01 am

Why has Jesus called His church to make disciples of all nations? Today, Burk Parsons identifies the ultimate purpose of the Great Commission: that people around the world may know and worship the Lord.

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In Matthew chapter 28 Jesus commands his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. We call it the great commission now appropriately so that the commission is great in its scope. It's great in what it calls us to do.

It's great and it's significance it's waiting and what it is calling us to do. But the Bible doesn't call it the great commission because as we see here in the great commission what Christ calls us to do is really quite ordinary noon, we read that command of our Savior doesn't seem ordinary at all. Visit quite the contrary, it appears to be a rather daunting task this week on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. Burke Parsons is going to lead us through a study of this concluding portion of Matthew's gospel and show us how Christ empowers us to fulfill the great commission homes are churches in our communities and to the ends of the earth, the great commission is one of the most significant and foundational commandments that we are given in Scripture. And when you hear the great commission.

What you first think that a lot of Christians when they first hear the great commission even mentioned they perhaps are excited aflame with passion thinking about the great commission, Christ has given us in reaching the nations with the gospel of Christ. I think many Christians are not as excited but often feel guilt and shame. I feel like we've not been faithful to the great commission and so when they first hear the great commission, mentioning they begin to feel a little bit of shame and guilt, realizing that not only have they not done enough, but that we as the church have not done enough so people I think too often when they hear the great commission feel that shame and that guilt in this series as we walked together through the great commission.

Every line in every verse and every phrase and every word.

My hope is that we as God's people that we as the church will not only be excited and inflamed by the commission that Christ has given us, but also we will feel a right sense of duty as we are called to be a part of fulfilling the great commission to the nations no many biblical scholars.

Many New Testament commentators when they look at the great commission and they look at its place in the gospel of Matthew. They say that the great commission is one of the keys to understanding the entirety of Matthew's gospel. They say that when you look at it carefully through every line in every verse and every phrase and every word that you begin to see how Matthew beautifully orchestrated how this commission would come precisely where it did under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and so as we see Matthew recording these words of Jesus in this scene that is both stories both narrative and its teaching and so as we look at the scene of the great commission. My hope is that we will see how it is the great commission not only helps to give us a key to all Christ has given us in the gospel of Matthew. But in one sense, how the Lord Jesus Christ gives to us a charge that we would be faithful to the fulfillment of the great commission in all its fullness as we strive to make disciples of all nations know of the most significant things about the great commission is that it's not a dialogue. The focus is all upon Jesus in this great commission Jesus is the star Jesus is the very central part of this great commission. And as you can see from looking at it at the very outset the New Testament. The Bible nowhere calls this a great commission. Snow referred to as a great commission, we call it the great commission now appropriately so that the commission is great in its scope. It's great in what he calls us to do. It's great and it's significance it's waiting and what it is calling us to do.

But the Bible doesn't call it the great commission because as we see here in the great commission what Christ calls us to do is really quite ordinary or least. It ought to be ordinary. It ought to be the general practice of every Christian and every church in all the world doing what we as the church are called to do so, let's dig in together in Matthew chapter 28 we read beginning at verse 16. The entirety of this passage we read now the 11 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. Jesus came and said to them all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I've commanded you.

And behold I am with you always, even to the end of the age. The 11 disciples went to Galilee course 11 disciples 12 minus Judas who betrayed our Lord and Savior. These 11 disciples went to the precise mountain that Jesus had directed them and we see that Jesus directed them just a few verses earlier in Matthew 28 you look there with me. We can pick up there even at verse seven of chapter 28 then go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him see I have told you so they that's the women, Mary Magdalena and the other Mary. They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples and, behold, Jesus met with them and said, greetings, and they came up and they took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, do not be afraid.

Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee and there they will see me so this is just after the resurrection and Jesus told these women to go and tell the disciples, his brothers, he calls them as Jesus calls us as brothers as co-laborers, even astonishingly, his friends, these disciples, these servants of Christ. He calls and says go and tell them to meet me in Galilee and so they go to Galilee, to the precise place that Jesus had appointed to the mountain and there they came and there they waited because it seems as we see here in verse 16 that Jesus is perhaps at a little distance from them. Perhaps a little far off from them and so as they go to the mountain meeting Jesus there on the mountain we see Jesus meeting with his disciples and having significant redemptive historical events throughout Matthew's gospel on mountains mountains are often the place that God uses for revelation even for his own self disclosure is unrevealing of himself revealing of his law, the Transfiguration of Jesus teaching on the amount in the sermon on the Mount in Matthew five through seven. So mounds of a very significant place in all of Scripture and even in the gospel of Matthew. And so here, Jesus tells his 11 to go and meet him in this Particular Pl. in Galilee and then we read something that is really quite astonishing. In verse 17 and when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

So there. The disciples were on this mountain in Galilee that Christ had appointed and they saw him.

Likely from a little distance and like the women appropriately. They worshiped in the language of worship as we can understand in the Bible is language of not simply giving lip service not simply mouthing words but actual worship with our whole being.

This is what we see the disciples doing it is likely that they are either on their knees or that they are prostrate on their faces to the ground knowing God comes in when God appears even through theophanies, and even through the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament God's people who have write reference for the Lord right off of God understand his righteous character as being what they do get on their faces when anyone encounters God when anyone encounters the Lord. They don't just address them casually. They don't just walk up to him and shake his hand and say it's nice to meet you. They fall down on their face with fear and trembling worshiping the God who is because when we encounter the holy God, we could see our own unholiness with their own unclean lips we see our own need for the holiness and righteousness of God.

As we get on our knees and worship we get down our faces and worship to inform how we worship the Lord both privately with our families, and even in our congregations. There is a reference and awesomeness to worship, so the disciples were likely on their knees, or perhaps even on their faces. The women we saw earlier when they do, they grab a hold of his feet. They wrapped her arms around his feet. We see such tenderness and love the week that that these women loved him so much, perhaps even kissing his feet so these disciples. They fell down and they worshiped him.

Now this is significant part of the reason significant is that they are doing and worshiping the Lord Jesus precisely what God created us as humanity to do God created us and he created all the world. Credit all the universe secreted all things, and he created the world for us. He created the world to be inhabited by us, so the world was made informed so that we might dwell within it. Creation exists not for us to serve creation, but creation exists to serve us. We are called to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, we are called to take dominion over all that God has given us in and put under our care and notices our care and so would be good stewards of the earth. Not for the sake of the earth because we worship the earth because we care about the mission of God. We care about that which God has given us and created for us that we might be good stewards for the sake of the earth, but for the sake of generations that may come from us of the Lord Terry's our children and our children's children that they might know the Lord that that those who come from us, might serve the Lord and love the Lord and follow the Lord, that we might worship with them together forever in heaven. So God created the world for us and he created the world, not simply to be inhabited by us.

He created the world and simply sort of leave us on our own say okay, sit back, you all go and figure out figured out yourselves and how to live and how to do whatever it is you do know the Lord not only created but he sustains the Lord created the heavens and the earth. And then he sustains the heavens and the earth, and he sustains us, within them. He gives us daily breath, and he gives us all that we need that we might worship, but ultimately God didn't just create so that we might inhabit the world. He didn't create so that he might just have something to do notice that the Bible never says that God needed to create a steady. He didn't need to create us. He doesn't need us all. He doesn't need anything for him to be the God that he is perfect, self-sufficient self existed eternal in all his attributes. God is perfect and complete, and one and he doesn't need us. He doesn't need anything. We speak of the acedia God or the self-sufficiency and existence of God. He doesn't need us so much sweeter than that.

The Lord wants us, the Lord created us because he wants us he desires us. He created us to have a people for himself, who do precisely what the disciples are doing here we would worship no one pastor has said and I think rightly that the mission of God exists because worship doesn't exist everywhere in every nation and every tribe and tongue and nation. But the disciples had been reached with the gospel. They been reached with Jesus Christ. They knew the Lord Jesus Christ. They follow the Lord Jesus Christ and they rightly worship the Lord Jesus Christ and worship. Worship is not just some means to another end of giving glory to God.

Worship itself glorifies God to our lives are to be defined by worship. Worship is not just something we do on the Lord's day. It's something we do every day of the week and then come together in culmination on the first day of the week to set our weeks are right as we come together corporately and Congregational. He worship God together and hear the disciples are worshiping the Lord likely on their faces worshiping God doing exactly what God created them to do when we worship the Lord not only in singing battling gathering together in corporate worship, not only in reading the Bible, not only in praying, but in all of our service to the Lord in all our daily communion with the Lord in all her walking with the Lord and thinking on the things of the Lord, knowing his word and studying his word, not just reading it, but I will know or call the simply to read the word of God, but to study it to devour it to meditate on it to hide it in our hearts and so as we do that each and every day of our lives as we live lives of repentance and faith trusting Christ we are worshiping the Lord in all of life that culminates in the Lord's day worship here.

The disciples were doing exactly what God created us to do. See the mission of God is being fulfilled this very moment, as his disciples are there on their faces, worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice what else we read something that is really quite astonishing, something that when we first read it, we can simply pass over because we were not even sure what it means, we don't know quite what Matthew Assange and really what all is entailed in these couple words in verse 17 we read and when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. What an amazing thing to admit SQ? If you were recording a record of the life and the teaching events of Jesus Christ and you are trying to. If you will sell this story to the world that this story might be believable that people when reading this, they might say boy I really get it. Look at what happened everywhere Jesus went people trusted them. People responded to him.

People came to him. He did miracles and everyone responded and and and no one ever doubted him or denied him.

No one ever ran away from them are scattered from the letter we see the New Testament in mid we see the New Testament admitting that some of the 11 some of his disciples doubted. This is one of those interesting little phrases in Scripture that actually helps us understand and see how it is that Scripture is in fact the infallible word of God, how the Scriptures are indeed inerrant. What other piece of literature of historical literature would admit to some of the very core disciples or followers are learners doubting the Scriptures give to us the fullness in the beauty, even the harshness. Even the difficult things of what was really taking place.

I've always wondered in looking at this phrase may be Matthew knowing his own heart was one of those doubters. We arty know that Thomas doubted we know that Peter denied. We know that the disciples themselves scattered but here we have one of the disciples. Matthew admitting doubt he knew his own heart. The Lord knew all their hearts. Perhaps Matthew was talking with others as they were falling down, worshiping, saying, is this really true. Could this really be is is is this really him that he really died. Was he really raised. We don't know what they were doubting, but was Matthew hearing from from even Thomas again was a hearing from another disciple as he was gathered next to them there on that dusty mountain in Galilee. Is this really well.

Some New Testament scholars and Greek scholars. When looking at this word doubt though they point out, rightly, that this same word is used with Jesus and the apostle Peter.

There they were, in Matthew 14 on the seat. Jesus walking to them on the seat and Jesus offering that Peter would come and join him on the water in the face of the elements. The wind and likely the rain that was upon the sea. Peter stepped out, but he had little faith in Jesus and why do you doubt why do you have such little faith. Peter this of this term. This this word that she was theirs is used here in Matthew 28 where the disciples doubted, but there is another nuance to this word in the original language that means to hesitate though could very well have been the case that when they saw him just like the women earlier in Matthew 28 Solomon's appearance was his appearance was radiating. It was glowing as it were was like lightning if you will, and at first, many of those who first encounter Jesus didn't recognize and remember that he knew it was him they didn't fully recognize and because of his Jesus, and of of of familiar site and familiar appearance. He's now different. So perhaps it was simply that they didn't recognize and they didn't really know is this him. Is this Jesus is our friend in our Lord that we walk with these years, but it could have been that they were simply hesitating, hesitating, not so much in worshiping but hesitating and fully acknowledging and recognizing that this is Jesus himself and whether they work, hesitating, or whether or not they had little faith, whether they were doubting certain aspects about who Jesus is or what Jesus did doubting.

Perhaps the resurrection still the New Testament gives to us this record that there was some dissonance there was some sort of internal heart conflict that these disciples had significant because when we think of the great commission, we think of what Christ has called us to do and going to the nations it excites us and inflames us but also scares us a little bit make this a little bit afraid because we know that means we know what that entails.

Don't we. We know that that means going to mean sending it means mobilizing it means supporting and so that means what sacrifice for each and every Christian in some measure, it means sacrifice means we have to give up something means we have to give up comforts. It means we have to give up money.

It means we have to give up what makes us most happy in life and we have to be faithful to the fulfillment of the great commission of the disciples were no different in this very ordinary scene with no signs or wonders Christ speaking disciples worshiping and listening is very ordinary scene. Jesus calls those who are hesitant those who have little faith those who doubt very ordinary people, fishermen and tax collectors and every one of us. He calls us to be faithful in the fulfillment of the fullness of the great commission to the great commission begins and is given in the atmosphere of worship in a church family or an individual who believes he or she or they are rightly and appropriately worshiping God, but are not being faithful to the great commission of Jesus Christ are not faithfully worshiping God. Great commission is given in the context of worship and it is given that people might go, that we might go and that people might hear that they might become worshipers themselves, that we might see throughout all the world and every tribe and tongue and nation people worshiping the Lord bowing down and getting on their faces and praising God and serving the Lord in all of life and then they themselves being faithful to the great commission and taking that great commission to their own nations and to their own villages to their own tribes and to the unreached peoples within their own nations. This is to be the warp and woo hoo the great commission in all the world and it starts in every home in every heart in every church will go will send I will support not only because were faithful to the great commission because were faithful to the great commandment is Jesus responded.

Matthew 22 the great commandment.

The greatest commandment fulfillment of all the commandments ultimately is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And if we don't love.

We don't love God, and we don't love our neighbor that we won't go and are going, if we go will be harsh and cold and miserable so love God's love for his people in our love for him for the world is that motivation for us to be obedient to the great commission of Jesus Christ of love like that can only come from an obedient relationship with Christ with Jesus followers encountered him after the resurrection they fell down and worshiped him. It was then that he commissioned them to go and make disciples and take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Dr. Burk Parsons joins us this week on Renewing Your Mind with his series, the great commission would be happy to send you this five-part series on DVD when you contact us today with a donation of any amount you can make your request or we'd be happy to take her phone call at 800-435-4343. Did you know that last year alone.

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