One of the greatest men in the Old Testament made a serious mistake. While military conquest was still needed, we read in II Samuel 11:1, “…at the time when kings go forth to battle… David sent Joab…But David tarried still at Jerusalem.” We are not told explicitly why David was not in battle. Perhaps he was just tired from all the conflict, overwhelmed by the weight of responsibility, or concerned about the dangers that would be involved. Whatever the reason, David squandered an opportunity to be greatly used of the Lord, and he involved himself in actions that were beneath his calling. He involved himself with Bathsheba.
As we read Matthew Chapter 28, we should realize we are looking at only a brief overview of events after our Lord’s resurrection. To see a more complete picture we should consult the other Gospels. After our Lord’s death, the apostles were a defeated band of followers. From our Savior’s repeated instructions, they should have known He would rise from the dead in three days. Yet when the women at the tomb announced that Christ had risen, “their words seemed to them as idle tales” (Luke 24:11). Even after the Lord Jesus appeared to them, the apostles “were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit” (Luke 24:36-48). Knowing how defeated His disciples would be, Christ gave instructions through an angel (Matthew 28:7) for them to meet Him in Galilee (some 70 miles north of Jerusalem) at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:32), and by angels at the tomb. There was also a specific place where “Jesus had appointed them” (Matthew 28:16) to meet Him, which was likely upon a nearby mountain where He had been transfigured. John 21 provides details that while this defeated band of believers awaited His appearing for eight days, they went fishing. Though they did not recognize Him at first, the Savior provided them with many fish. Then He invited them to draw near to Him by saying, “Come and dine” (John 21:12). It was during this time with the Savior that He comforted them and urged them to continue following Him by getting back to ministering to those who needed to hear the gospel.
It is understandable when circumstances and opposition from our spiritual enemy occasionally overwhelm God’s servants. But we must not remain sidelined for long. Come and dine in fellowship with Christ and His written Word. Then get quickly back in the battle.
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