What does Matthew 28:9 mean?
ESV: And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
NIV: Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
NASB: And behold, Jesus met them and said, 'Rejoice!' And they came up and took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him.
CSB: Just then Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" They came up, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.
NLT: And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him.
KJV: And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him.
NKJV: And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
Verse Commentary:
The women are running from the tomb of Jesus back to where the disciples are hiding. They have been told by an angel that Jesus is alive and have been sent to tell the disciples that they will see Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 28:1–8).

Before they can reach the disciples, however, Jesus meets them, alive, walking, talking. They had last seen Him die on the cross after the great struggle and then watched as His lifeless body was wrapped and buried in a tomb (Matthew 27:50–61). Now He stands before them in person and says, "Greetings!" as if He were meeting anyone walking along the road. This is the equivalent of seeing someone in the modern world who casually says "Hi!"

The women cannot be casual in this moment. They fall, take hold of Jesus' feet—perhaps to make sure He is truly there—and worship Him. Seeing Jesus alive after seeing Him dead has made concrete the reality that Jesus is truly the Son of God. Humble worship is the only proper response.

The differing gospel accounts emphasize different moments and encounters during this morning of Jesus' resurrection. In each of them, though, Jesus appears alive first to one or more women. These women, especially, have been faithful servants to Him throughout His life and ministry. Even as the resurrected Son of God, Jesus continues to counter the culture of His generation by honoring women highly in a society that often treated them very poorly.
Verse Context:
Matthew 28:1–10 describes how two of Jesus' women followers learn of Jesus' resurrection. Before they arrive at the tomb on Sunday morning, an angel from heaven descends and rolls back the large stone. This is accompanied by an earthquake. The Roman soldiers faint. The angel tells the women Jesus is risen from the dead. Jesus meets the women, and they worship Him. He sends them to tell His brothers He has been resurrected from the dead and that they should go to Galilee. They will see Him there.
Chapter Summary:
An angel of the Lord descends from heaven and rolls the stone from Jesus' tomb. The guards faint. The angel sits on top of the stone and waits. Two women, followers of Jesus, arrive and are told that Jesus is risen from the dead. Jesus then meets them and tells them to give the news to His brothers. The chief priests bribe the guards to say Jesus' followers stole His body. Jesus meets the disciples on a mountain in Galilee and commissions them to make disciples of people from all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey Jesus' commands. Jesus promises to be with them always.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 28 follows the dark events of the crucifixion in the previous chapter and brings Matthew's story of Jesus to a close. An angel descends from heaven and rolls back the stone. The guards faint. The angel tells two women Jesus is risen and then Jesus meets them. The Jewish religious leaders bribe the guards to lie and distribute a story that His followers took the body. Jesus meets His disciples in Galilee and commissions them to make disciples of people from all nations on earth, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all of Jesus' commands.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 6/21/2024 4:23:10 PM
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