Go and Tell
September 1, 2003 - We are blessed to have many wonderful Bible studies in the United States. Studies are offered in places such as churches, homes, schools, dorms, apartments and lunchrooms. There are studies that are video-driven, lesson-driven, discussion-driven and lecture-driven. There are studies for just about everyone, including men, women, teenagers, singles, the elderly, students, businessmen, businesswomen, government leaders or any combination of the above. Sometimes I wonder: When it comes to the Scripture, have we become more comfortable thinking and studying than actually doing what it says?
by Anne Graham Lotz
I have been struck in so many ways by Mary Magdalene's example. She had been a disciple of Jesus from the time He had set her free from vicious inner torment. She had been at Calvary and watched from a discreet distance as He was crucified. She had seen Him die, and she had seen Him buried. The Sunday morning following the Crucifixion, she encountered the risen Christ. In the thrill of the moment, as she flung her arms around Him, she was instructed to stop clinging to Him. Jesus commissioned her to go and tell others of her experience with the risen Lord. Could it be that the risen Lord would tell you and me to stop clinging to Him also—to stop spending all of our time reading the Bible and praying and gathering in our little holy huddles? The time has come to go and tell others about Jesus!
Read Matthew 28 and John 20:10-18
Make sure that your faith is not based on hearsay or on second-hand information, but on your own examination of the evidence and on your own experience with the risen Christ.
- What did the angel invite the women to do in Matthew 28:6?
- When have you accepted the invitation and examined—for yourself—the facts for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?
- List as many facts as you can that give evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. See Matthew 28:1-17; Luke 24:13-31, 34; John 20:1-29; Acts 9:1-6 and 1 Corinthians 15:6.
- What other evidence for the Resurrection can you give from Scripture? From history? From today's world?
- Describe your own first-hand encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Only when you have accepted the above invitation can you truly obey the command that is given to Christ's followers.
- What command did the angels give to the women in Matthew 28:7? Write it in your own words.
- How many times is the command repeated in Matthew 28? Give the context of each command, applying it to your life.
- How did Mary receive and respond to this command in John 20:10-16?
- Describe the obedience to Jesus' command in each of the following stories: Acts 3:1-10, Acts 4:1-20, Acts 4:23-31, Acts 5:27-42.
- In each of these stories, what was the response to the disciples' obedience?
- What other command was given to disciples about speaking out for Christ? See 2 Timothy 1:7-8; John 14:27 and Acts 18:9.
- Read Acts 18:9. What does it mean to you that the Apostle Paul himself may have been afraid to witness?
- What do you not understand about the command to "go and tell"?
Very often in Scripture, commands are coupled with promises that are conditioned by our obedience to the commands.
The Promise of His Power
- According to Matthew 28:18, describe the scope of Jesus' authority.
- Can you think of anything over which He does not have authority? See Ephesians 1:22. What does this mean to you personally?
- Apply Acts 1:8 to your own life.
- How does Paul describe this power in Ephesians 1:18-21?
- How does Paul encourage an apparently timid witness in 2 Timothy 1:7?
- If you don't "go and tell" others about Jesus, how will you know for sure that God has given you the power to do so?
- According to Acts 1:4-5, 8, what is the key to being an effective witness for Christ?
- What is the seeming contradiction between Acts 1:9 and Matthew 28:20? Explain in your own words why these verses do not contradict each other.
- How did God fulfill the promise of His presence in the following passages: Daniel 3, Daniel 6, 2 Timothy 4:16-18 and Revelation 1:9-12?
- What are some of the situations in which God promises to be with you, according to Joshua 1:9, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 139:18, Isaiah 41:9-10, Isaiah 43:2, Amos 5:14 and John 14:1-3?
If you have personally accepted the invitation to encounter the risen Lord Jesus Christ, do you have any excuse for not obeying His command to "go and tell"? Will you choose to obey His command so that you can claim His presence and His power?