Then said Jesus to them, Be not afraid: go tell my brothers that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Go, tell my brethren.—The words are clearly used of those who were brethren by spiritual relationship, as in Matthew 12:49, and have their counterpart in John 20:17, “I ascend to My Father and your Father.”Luke 5:8; Judges 6:22-23; Judges 13:21-22. These women were in like manner alarmed when they saw Jesus, believing him now especially to be a Divine Being; seeing him returning from the regions of the dead, and doubtless impressed with a new consciousness that they were unworthy of being in his presence. Jesus comforted them. He was the "same Jesus" with whom they had been before his death, and they had no reason now to fear him.
Go tell my brethren - There is something exceedingly tender in the appellation used here - "my brethren." Though he was risen from the dead, though about to be exalted to heaven, yet he did not disdain to call his disciples his brethren. This was calculated still further to silence the fears of the women and to inspire them with confidence.
Into Galilee - Galilee was the northern part of the land. There the Saviour commenced his ministry; and there, away from the noise and confusion of the city, he purposed again to meet them, in retirement and quietness, to satisfy them of his resurrection, and to commission them to go forth and preach the everlasting gospel.
go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me—The brethren here meant must have been His brethren after the flesh (compare Mt 13:55); for His brethren in the higher sense (see on Joh 20:17) had several meetings with Him at Jerusalem before He went to Galilee, which they would have missed if they had been the persons ordered to Galilee to meet Him.
The Guards Bribed (Mt 28:11-15).
The whole of this important portion is peculiar to Matthew.Mark 16:9-11, Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
Luke saith, Luke 24:12, Then (that is, when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary had come and told the disciples what they had seen and heard, though at first they gave no credit to it) arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre, and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
John relates this more distinctly, in John 20:3-18: Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, ( whom Jesus loved, as Matthew 28:2, and that was John himself, who wrote that Gospel, John 13:23), and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. What there is particularly to be noted upon the several particulars in John’s relation, I shall observe when I come to that chapter of John; I have only at present transcribed it, that from the comparing it with the other evangelists we might understand the order of this history.
And as they went to tell his disciples. This seemeth to be their second going, and the order to be thus: When Mary and the rest came to the disciples, and told them they had been at the sepulchre, and what they had there seen and heard, they believed it not. But yet, it being close by the city, and not knowing what to think, Peter resolves to go and see, and so doth John. They both run, but John comes there first, but goes not into the sepulchre, but only looks in, and sees the linen clothes lying. Peter comes (for it was very near the gates of the city); he goeth in, seeth the linen clothes, and the napkin. Then John also adventures to go in, and saw and believed; he is the first is said to have believed. Then they went home. But Mary stayed weeping; and now and then looking into the sepulchre, she seeth not the clothes only, but two angels sitting, the one at the head, the other at the feet of the place where the body of Christ did lie. They ask her why she wept. She tells them, Because they had taken away her Lord, and she did not know where they had laid him. Now, saith John, when she had said thus, estrafh eiv ta opisw, we translate it, She turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, John 20:14; which seemeth to contradict our evangelist Matthew, who saith,
As they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. Our translation now would make one think that Mary was still at the sepulchre, and there looking back she saw Jesus; and this seemeth either to assert that Mary saw Christ twice, once at the sepulchre, once in her return to the city, or else to contradict Matthew; but the Greek words may be translated, ‘She was turned backward’, that is, was going back to tell his disciples, and met Christ, who saluted her, saying, All hail.
Though Mary Magdalene be only named, and possibly all the women who were with her at first did not come back with her the second time, yet it is plain she was not alone, for Matthew saith, They came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. He bids her be not afraid, but go and tell his disciples they should meet him in Galilee. For the other discourse betwixt him and Mary, we shall meet with it when we come to that chapter in St. John’s Gospel where it is mentioned. Mark saith, that when they had heard he was alive, and had been seen of her, they believed not. We do not read that the angels appeared either to Peter or John, much less that Christ as yet showed himself to them; so they had only the testimony of Mary as to these things, and their own view of the empty sepulchre, and the clothes lying by. How hard a thing it is to believe spiritual mysteries, above the reach of our reason! So hard, that no revelation of flesh and blood is sufficient to beget such a faith.
Go tell my brethren; meaning not his kinsmen according to the flesh, but his disciples, who were in this relation to him, as all the elect of God are; not only through his incarnation, he being their "Goel", their near kinsman, and Redeemer, and of the same nature, flesh, and blood with them, and like unto them in all things, excepting sin; but on account of their divine adoption, to which they were predestinated, and which they received through his redemption, and under the witnessings of the Spirit: he that is his God being theirs; and he that is his Father being theirs also: and which was made manifest in their regeneration, by their faith in him; and obedience to him, and his Father; see Matthew 12:49. A very considerable relation this is, that the disciples stood in to Christ, who is the eternal Son of God, and heir of all things; and wonderful grace and condescension it was in Christ to own the relation, when they had so lately forsaken him; and now he was raised from the dead, and had glory given him:
that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me: he does not say they should not see him before: for they saw him, all but Thomas, that very evening, and all of them eight days after; and both times were before they went into Galilee: but this he said, to put them in mind of what he had promised them, Matthew 26:32, and to confirm the words of the angel; and which might serve for a confirmation of the truth of these things, both to the women, and to the disciples, when they observed the exact agreement between the words of Christ, and of the angel. Moreover, it may be remarked, that wherever Christ has appointed to meet his people, they may expect, and be sure to see him at one time or another; as in his house and ordinances, where they are sometimes indulged with a sight of him by faith, which is an appropriating, assimilating, soul rejoicing, and satisfying one; when with pleasure they behold the glory of his divine person, and of his offices, the transcendent excellencies and perfections of his nature, his love and his loveliness, the beauty and amiableness of him, the fulness of grace, life, and righteousness in him, and so the suitableness of him as their Saviour and Redeemer; and when they are favoured with communion with him, and the joys of his salvation.Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 28:10. Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ὑπάγετε, ἀπαγγ.] Asyndeton, the matter being pressing, urgent.
τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς μου] He thus designates His disciples (comp. on John 20:17; Justin, c. Tr. 106), not πρὸς τιμὴν αὐτῶν (Euthymius Zigabenus), for which there was no occasion, but in view of that conception of Him as a superhuman being which had so profoundly impressed the women prostrate at His feet.
ἵνα] does not state the purport of the order involved in ἀπαγγ. (de Wette; there is nothing whatever of the nature of an order about ἀπαγ.), but the idea is: take word to my brethren (namely, about my resurrection, about your having seen me, about my having spoken to you, and what I said), in order that (as soon as they receive these tidings from you) they may proceed to Galilee, Matthew 26:32.
κἀκεῖ με ὄψονται] is not to be regarded as dependent on ἵνα, but: and there they shall see me. This repetition of the directions about going to Galilee (Matthew 28:7), to which latter our evangelist gives considerable prominence as the scene of the new reunion (Matthew 28:16 ff.), cannot be characterized as superfluous (de Wette, Bruno Bauer), or even as poor and meaningless (Keim), betraying the hand of a later editor, but is intended to be express and emphatic; comp. Steinmeyer. With the exception of John 21, the other canonical Gospels, in which, however, we cannot include the spurious conclusion of Mark, make no mention of any appearance of the risen Lord in Galilee; according to John 20, Jesus remained at least eight days in Jerusalem, as did also His disciples, to whom He there manifested Himself on two occasions, though it would appear from John 21 that the third manifestation took place in Galilee, while Luke, on the other hand (Matthew 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 13:31), excludes Galilee altogether, just as Matthew excludes Judaea. To harmonize these divergent accounts is impossible (Strauss, II. p. 558 ff.; Holtzmann, p. 500 f.; Keim); and, with regard to the account of Matthew in particular, it may be observed that it is so far from assuming the manifestations to the disciples in Judaea as having previously occurred (in opposition to Augustine, Olshausen, Krabbe, Ebrard, Lange), that it clearly intends the meeting with the eleven, Matthew 28:16 ff., as the first appearance to those latter, and as the one that had been promised by the angel, Matthew 28:7, and by Jesus Himself, Matthew 28:10. From those divergent accounts, however, it may be fairly inferred that the tradition regarding the appearances of the risen Lord to His disciples assumed a threefold shape: (1) the purely Galilaean, which is that adopted by Matthew; (2) the purely Judaean, which is that of Luke, and also of John with the supplementary ch. 21 left out; (3) the combined form in which the appearances both in Galilee and Judaea are embraced, which is that of John with the supplementary chapter in question included. That Jesus appeared to the disciples both in Jerusalem and in Galilee as well might be already deduced as a legitimate historical inference from the fact of a distinct Judaean and Galilaean tradition having been current; but the matter is placed beyond a doubt by John, if, as we are entitled to assume, the apostle is to be regarded as the author of ch. 21. The next step, of course, is to regard it as an ascertained historical fact that the appearances in Judaea preceded those in Galilee; though, at the same time, it should not be forgotten that Matthew’s account is not merely vague and concise (Bleek), but that it, in fact, ignores the appearances in Judaea altogether, entirely excludes them as being unsuited to the connection; comp. Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 465 f. Now, as this is inconceivable in the case of Matthew the apostle, we are bound to infer from our narrative that this is another of those passages in our Gospel which show traces of other than apostolic authorship. See Introd. § 2.
 Rud. Hofmann (de Berg Galiläa, 1856), following certain early expositors, has attempted to explain the discrepancies between the various narratives by maintaining that ἡ Γαλιλαία, Matthew 28, is not the country, but a mountain of this name, namely, the northmost of the three peaks of the Mount of Olives. But nowhere in the New Testament do we find such a designation applied to any locality but the well-known province of that name; nor, if we interpret fairly the passages quoted by Hofmann from Tertullian (Apol. 21), Lactantius (iv. 19), and Chrysostom, are we able to find in them any allusion to a mountain called Galilee; and surely it is not to be presumed that anything of a trustworthy nature can be learnt as to the existence of such a mountain from the confusions of a certain corrupt part of the text in the Evang, Nicod. 14; see already, Thilo, ad Cod, Apocr. I. p. 620 f.
It is evident from 1 Corinthians 15:5 ff. that, even taking the narratives of all the evangelists together, we would have but an imperfect enumeration of the appearances of Jesus subsequent to His resurrection, Matthew’s account being the most deficient of any. With regard to the appearances themselves, modern criticism, discarding the idea that the death was only apparent (see on Matthew 27:50), has treated them partly as subjective creations, either of the intellect (Strauss, Scholten), in its efforts to reconcile the Messianic prophecies and the belief in the Messiah with the fact of His death, or of ecstatic vision (Baur, Strauss, 1864; Holsten, Ewald), and therefore as mere mental phenomena which came to be embodied in certain objective incidents. There are those again who, attributing the appearances in question to some objective influence emanating from Christ Himself, have felt constrained to regard them as real manifestations of His person in the glorified form (Schenkel) in which it emerged from out of death (not from the grave),—a view in which Weisse, Keim, Schweizer substantially concur, inasmuch as Keim, in particular, lays stress on the necessity of “such a telegram from heaven” after the extinction of Christ’s earthly nature, though he considers the question as to whether our Lord also communicated the form of the vision directly or only indirectly, as of but secondary consequence. But all these attempts to treat what has been recorded as an actual fact as though it were based merely on mental phenomena are in opposition in general to the explicit and unhesitating view of all the evangelists and apostles as well as in particular to the uniform reference to the empty grave, and no less uniform use of the expression third day, all classical testimonies which can never be silenced. If, in addition to all this, it be borne in mind that the apostles found in the resurrection of their Lord a living and unfailing source of courage and hope, and of that cheerfulness with which they bore suffering and death,—that the apostolic church generally saw in it the foundation on which its own existence was based,—that Paul, in particular, insists upon it as incontrovertible evidence for, and as an ἀπαρχή of the resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15:23; Romans 8:11), and as constituting an essential factor in man’s justification (Romans 4:25; Php 3:10), though he is fond of speaking of being buried and raised up with Christ as descriptive of what is essential to the moral standing of the Christian (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12), and can only conceive of the glorified body of the Lord, to which those of believers will one day be conformed (Php 3:21), as no other than that which came forth from the grave and was taken up to heaven,—if, we say, this be borne in mind, not the shadow of an exegetical pretext will be left for construing the resurrection from the grave of one whose body was exempted from corruption (Acts 2:31; Acts 10:41) into something or other which might be more appropriately described as a resurrection from the cross, and which would therefore require us to suppose that all the apostles and the whole church from the very beginning had been the victims of a delusion. See, in answer to Keim, Schmidt in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol. 1872, p. 413 ff. If this view of the resurrection were adopted, then, in opposition once more to New Testament authority, we should have to identify it with the ascension (comp. on Luke 24:51, Remark); while, on the other hand, it would be necessary to give up the Descensus Christi ad inferos as a second error arising out of that which has just been referred to.Matthew 28:10. μὴ φοβεῖσθε: kindly in word and tone, meant to remove the embarrassment visible in their manner.—ὑπάγετε ἀπαγγείλατε, another asyndeton as in Matthew 27:65. The instructions to the women simply repeat, in much the same words, those given by the angel (Matthew 28:7), with the exception that the disciples are spoken of by the kindly name of “brethren”.
The similarity of Matthew 28:9-10 to John 20:14-18 has been remarked on (vide Weiss, Meyer, on Matthew 28:9). It has been lately commented on in connection with the theory of a “four-gospel Canon” prepared by the Presbyters of Asia Minor in the beginning of the second century. Vide Der Schlnss des Marcus-Evangeliums der Vier-Evangelien-Kanon und die Kleinasiatischen Presbyter, by Dr. Paul Rohrbach. Rohrbach’s idea is that when this Canon was prepared the editors altered more or less the statements of the Synoptists as to the visions of the Risen Christ so as to bring them somewhat into harmony with those of the fourth Gospel. For this purpose Mark’s original ending was cancelled and the present one, Matthew 28:9-20, put in its place. The editorial procedure in the case of Matthew consisted in inserting Matthew 28:9-10 in the narrative, thus providing for at least one vision in Jerusalem, and making room for more, and so cancelling the impression otherwise produced that Jesus was seen only in Galilee. In support of the view that Matthew 28:9-10 are an editorial addition at a later date Rohrbach adduces the fact that the narrative has an appearance of continuity when they are omitted, and also that the instructions of Jesus to the women are a mere echo of those given by the angel.10. go tell my brethren that they go] i. e. tell my brethren (of my Resurrection), in order that they may go.
my brethren] The disciples; “He named them brethren, as being Himself a man and their kinsman according to man’s nature” (Euthymius quoted by Ellicott, Life of our Lord); comp. Hebrews 2:11, “He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Now that Christ had clearly manifested the power of the Godhead, there was special need of reminding His disciples that He was still man, and that they were brethren.Matthew 28:10. Τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς Μου, to My brethren) See Gnomon on John 20:17.Verse 10. - Be not afraid. So he spake on other occasions when his acts had caused terror and amazement (comp. Matthew 14:27; Matthew 17:7). With all their joy and love, the women could not help feeling fear at his sudden appearance and at the nearness of this unearthly yet familiar form. Go, tell my brethren. He here for the first time calls his disciples his brethren, intending thereby to assure them of his love and good will in spite of their cowardly desertion, and to signify that he was in very truth the Man Christ Jesus, their Lord and their Master, whom they had known so long and so well. He had called them friends before his Passion (John 15:14, 15); now he gives them a tenderer title; he is not ashamed to call them brethren (Hebrews 2:11). That they go (ἵνα ἀπέλθωσιν, in order that they may depart) into Galilee. The message is the same as that given by the angel (ver. 7). It was meant to comfort them in the absence of daily intercourse with him. But they were not to set out immediately; some other incidents were first to befall them. And there shall they see me. Galilee was to be the scene of the most important revelation, though the Lord vouchsafed to individuals many proofs of his risen life before the promised great announcement. Why St. Matthew mentions none of these we may form conjectures, but we cannot determine (see on ver. 16).
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