Summary: Easter or Missionary message on the Great Commission
It’s amazing what we hear and don’t hear. Most of us can be justly charged with selective hearing.
If mention to you, “I’ve changed cars, my son is starting a new job this week, and Hey, you look great – you’ve must have lost 15 or 20 pounds,” what are you going to remember?
Do you ever wonder why men don’t listen? There may be truth in the female complaint that men don’t listen to what they say. Researchers have found that men only listen with half their brain, while women use both sides. Men listen to conversations with the left side of the brain - associated with understanding language. But women also used the right side.
Dr Joseph T Lurito, assistant radiology professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, said: "I don’t want to provoke a battle of the sexes. I just want people to realize that men and women may process language differently."
The apostle Peter had selective hearing for sure. One good example is found in Matthew 26:31-33. [Please open your Bibles to see this. It’ll help you to listen.
How many prophecies did Jesus give here?
1. Tonight many of you will fall away and be scattered
2. Tonight the shepherd will be stricken?
3. But I will rise from again from the dead
4. After the resurrection, I will go to Galilee, you will go there too, and I’ll meet you there.
What did Peter hear? Only the part about his coming failure. “Even if all the others fall away, I never will.”
Peter, you’re so predictably human. You heard the part about you. But we do the same. What did you think about when you heard Jesus’ words? Probably you heard that Jesus was going to die for you and rise again as your savior.
One matter of high importance to Jesus is the statement that most listeners overlook. “After I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
Jesus said, “Men, put it in your appointment books. After the resurrection we all need to travel from Jerusalem to Galilee. We wiil meet at the usual spot.”
Jesus didn’t have too many appointments. Life was lived at a different pace back then. Jesus said that he, the son of man, often didn’t know where he would lay his head at night.
He had no appointment secretary working out all the details of his itinerary weeks ahead of time. I won’t say that he never had appointments. He met with people for dinner gatherings and these had to be planned hours or days ahead.
But there were only two major appointments in Jesus’ life that he talked about, appointments that are referred to repeatedly, and that obviously carried great importance in his plans.
One appointment was the cross. Jesus was born with an appointment to die for your sinful heart on the cross. He often said that his time had not yet come. In other words, “I have an appointment with the cross to shed my blood for your life, your life which is so far short of the glories and expectations and demands of heavenly acceptance. But that appointment with the cross isn’t for today. I’ve checked the prophetic appointment book. No, the cross isn’t scheduled for today.” And he would walk away by walking right through the crowd.
The only other major appointment that is repeated with almost nagging frequency is the post-resurrection appointment in Galilee. Let’s review these just to synchronize our thinking with the events themselves.
In Matthew 28:2, resurrection Sunday, we are introduced to an angel. This angel had two assignments.
One, he was to roll back the stone covering the empty tomb, to show to friends and foes that the tomb no longer had a crucified resident. “He is not here – he has risen.”
The other thing the angel had to do was tell 2 ladies named Mary to find the disciples and tell them to go to Galilee. [v7]
This was a reminder to check their appointment books and follow-through with the appointment Christ had made with them before the crucifixion. Apparently they knew the place to meet, a special mountain known to them that required no additional explanation.
As the two Marys left the angels to look for the disciples, they met someone else. [v8-10].
They met the risen Jesus, fell at his feet and worshipped him. What would we do if Jesus showed up physically this morning? These ladies fell at his feet to worship him.
If we have a full record of all the words exchanged, we’d say that Jesus was gracious with these women but didn’t give them much time. He greeted and received them, but what he said didn’t have anything to do with these women. There were no words acknowledging all the pain their hearts felt in the last few days. There apparently was no special blessing for them, or at least the Holy Spirit didn’t guide the Apostle John to record any.