Genesis 29, Matthew 28, Esther 5, Acts 28

Genesis 29

Genesis 29:35 (ESV) 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.

Jacob wanted Rachel rather than Leah, but God opened Leah’s womb while Rachel remained barren. Leah conceived the first of Jacob’s sons who would later become the twelve tribes of Israel. The fourth son borne to Leah was Judah, the line through which Jesus would come. It was the unfavored girl, the one whose “eyes were weak” that God chose to bring the Messiah.

Matthew 28

Matthew 28:17 (ESV) 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

Jesus rose from the dead and when some people saw Him, they doubted. I had previously thought that this was a verse denoting disbelief, but in reading some commentaries, it is more about a struggle to comprehend. No one has ever come back from being dead three days (before or since), so clearly this would have been difficult to process. As believers, this is also helpful in providing a level of empathy for those to whom we share the gospel knowing that its claims are truly extraordinary.

Esther 5

Esther 5:14 (ESV) 14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. Then go joyfully with the king to the feast.” This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.

Directly after Haman boasted of his fame and riches and how they were worth nothing compared to seeing Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate, his wife Zeresh suggested that gallows be made on which to hang Mordecai. Rather than consoling and properly guiding her husband, Zeresh only exacerbated the situation and fueled Haman’s enmity toward Mordecai. Haman was pleased with the idea, showing the power of spousal suggestion and a sharp lesson to use such influence rightly.

Acts 28

Acts 28:24 (ESV) 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.

While the previous note on Matt. 28:17 was more difficulty of comprehension, the response here by some of the Jews to whom Paul was preaching was full disbelief. This divided reaction from Jews to Paul’s preaching is a common theme in the book (e.g., Acts 13:42–45; Acts 14:1–2; Acts 17:4–5).

Carson on Matthew 28

the presence of Jesus with us is the matrix in which we obey the Great Commission—that is, simultaneously the experience of those who obey the commission, and the framework out of which we obey it. We know and experience the presence of Jesus, in accordance with his promise, and we bear witness to this, even as we proclaim who he is and what he has done and what he commands. As objective as is the truth of the Gospel that we proclaim, we proclaim it not only because it is truth, but because we ourselves have experienced its saving and transforming power.

It is so good to be reminded that our desire to know and proclaim the truth is driven by inner transformation resulting in a love of Christ that cannot be contained.