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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JESUS APPEARS TO THE WOMEN

Matt 28:8-10 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me. (Also See Mark 16:8; Luke 24:9-10)

Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried on the Friday afternoon preceding the Passover Sabbath Day. Early on the following Sunday morning, three women that were followers of Jesus, known as Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome, the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John, came to the tomb of Jesus with plans to add aromatic spices to His burial sepulchre. There they met angels that told them that Jesus had risen from death. The angels also told these women to go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen, and that they were to go into Galilee, and there shall ye see Him (Matt. 28:7).

The lesson text continues this event when these women departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy. These mixed emotions began at the tomb of Jesus and remained with them as they departed to seek out the disciples of Jesus with the message given to them by the angels of God. No doubt, they were filled with joy knowing that Jesus had, indeed, conquered and arisen from the death He experienced on the cross of Calvary. Yet they also were experiencing fear, not that they were afraid for their own safety from what may occur, but that they were nervously anxious about what the unknown future would reveal to Jesus Christ, to themselves, and to all of His disciples. Because of their worry, lack of understanding, and anxiety, they trembled and were amazed (Mark 16:8b). In this deep emotional state, these women did run to bring His disciples word, and while doing so, they told no one what they had experienced and were told at the tomb of Jesus - neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid (Mark 18:8c)

There has been much debate over the next event recorded by Matthew, that is, the appearing of Jesus to these three women. We find in Mark 16:9-11 that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. The apostle, John, in his gospel message (John 20:11-18), confirms this same appearance in much more detail. Even some bible scholars contend that the appearance of Jesus, as recorded by Matthew, to Mary Magdalene were the same, only with emphasis placed on different aspects of the event. This we know; if Matthew recorded a separate appearance of Jesus to these women, it is found only in his inspired record. Continuing this study, we will consider only that recorded by Matthew, with references to the other gospel writers. The appearance to Mary Magdalene will be studied later.

With fear and great joy, these women ran to find Jesus' disciples and tell them of His resurrection. In Luke's record of this event, Joanna was introduced as being with the original three that came first to the burial site of Jesus, and other women that were with them (Luke 24:10). Joanna was the wife of Chuze, a steward of Herod Antipas, who ministered to the needs of Jesus and His disciples in Galilee (Luke 8:3). Unlisted, but probably among the other women that followed Jesus, she, also witnessed His crucifixion and burial. And now, we find her among the women that were sent to bring word to Jesus' disciples.

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. As if He were ever in the presence of His followers, Jesus appeared to these devoted women as they obediently traveled with a message intended for His apostles. He greets them with the salutation, All hail, a common expression meaning good health and/or peace be unto you. It is evident that they all recognized their Lord and Savior whom they, only two days previous, had witnessed His death and burial. Now seeing Him alive once again, and filled with grateful, but humble, rejoicing, they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him. Indeed, they gave honor to the Son, even as they honor the Father ...which hath sent Him (John 5:23). Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid. Jesus knew their joy, but, knowing their fear, He gives them comfort; all is well and in the hands of God's providential oversight. Therefore, go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me. It was there that he began His public ministry, and now it is where He will completely reveal to them God's plan of eternal salvation.