What Jesus Did! 'Reason to Worship' — Matthew 28:16-17

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him — but some of them doubted!
— Matthew 28:16-17 NLT

Key Thought

"Eleven disciples." Wow, what a vivid reminder of the failures they had been — it was so bad that even one of them was dead at his own hands. Eleven was so much less than twelve. Twelve was such a special number for God's people. But now there were eleven. Despite Jesus' victory, it was a reminder of the fragility without him.

Nevertheless, notice they obeyed. They went to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. They did what Jesus asked them to do. When they saw Jesus, they worshiped him. But even then, after the resurrection appearances and the testimony of those who had seen him, there were still some doubters: It was hard to believe it was really Jesus after all they had been through; it was almost too good to be true.

The resurrection of Jesus IS almost too good to be true. It is definitely outside our experience and normal expectation. But the turnaround made by this wounded and incomplete group of eleven failures testifies that their encounters with Jesus after his resurrection changed them forever. Jesus' resurrection and command gave them a sense of purpose, certainty, hope, and destiny that they had not enjoyed even before the cross. And now, now they could trust he would go with them. So the fitting primary response to Jesus' triumph over death is to worship him. As we worship him, we too can be reawakened to the purpose and hope he gives us. He is not only the object of our worship, but he is also the Lord who is present and will go with us every step of the way.

Today's Prayer

Almighty and Living God, I find my hope in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! As I worship and praise you for this mighty victory over all the forces that hold me captive, I am filled with wonder and hope:

  • That what I do in Jesus' name will live forever.
  • That the family members who share my love for Jesus and trust in his saving death and resurrection will never be parted from Jesus and our relationship with Christ will never be broken.

I praise and thank you for giving me this victory at such an horrifc cost to yourself. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 27:1-5
  • Matthew 10:1-4
  • John 18:2


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Illustration of Matthew 28:16-17 NLT — Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him — but some of them doubted!

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.