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Verse 16

Matthew 28:16. Then Not immediately after what is related in the preceding verses, but after several appearances of Christ, and events connected therewith, recorded in the last chapter of Luke and Mark, and in the last two chapters of John; where see the notes: the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, &c. That Christ promised after his resurrection to go before them into Galilee, we read Matthew 26:32; thither the angel here, Matthew 28:7, and Christ himself Matthew 28:10, direct them to go to see him; but there is not the least mention of any mountain in Galilee to which he bade them go to meet him; and therefore the following words, where Christ had appointed them, must refer, not to the mountain, but to Galilee; but there being a mountain which Christ had frequented, and on which he had been before transfigured, this, it seems, moved the disciples to go to that mountain. Moreover, it is observable that they did not go into Galilee till above eight days after Christ’s resurrection, for Christ appeared to them at Jerusalem eight days after, John 20:19; and when they went, doubtless, they went not alone, but the curiosity of those that were with them, Luke 24:9; Luke 24:33, would probably move them to go to the place where he had appointed to be seen. It is true, the evangelist does not say that there were more present at this appearance than the eleven; nevertheless, the circumstances of the case direct us to believe that it had many witnesses. “This appearance was known beforehand; the place where it was to happen was pointed out by Jesus himself; and it was represented in such a light as if the appearances which were to take place before it were of small importance in comparison of it. The report, therefore, of his being to appear in Galilee, must have spread abroad, and brought many to the place at the appointed time. In short, it is reasonable to think that most of the disciples now enjoyed the happiness of beholding personally their Master raised from the dead. What confirms this supposition is, that Paul says expressly, Jesus, after his resurrection, was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, 1 Corinthians 16:6, for that number of witnesses mentioned by Paul agrees better to the appearance on the mountain in Galilee described by Matthew than to any other. Galilee having been the principal scene of Christ’s ministry, the greatest part of his followers lived there; for which reason he chose to make what may be called his most solemn and public appearance after his resurrection on a mountain in that country; an appearance to which, as we have seen, a general meeting of all his disciples was summoned, not only by the angels who attended his resurrection, but by our Lord himself, the very day on which he arose.”

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