I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “going and telling” in the last few months. This, I must admit, is heavily influenced by our sister in Christ, Jess Connolly and her Go + Tell Gals ministry. As I’ve thought about what going and telling looks like in my own life, I’ve gone back a few times to study what it looked like in Matthew 28 for Mary and Mary. Where were they supposed to go? Who or what were they supposed to tell? I’ll recap the story for you here in my own words:
Mary and Mary are at the tomb of Jesus, post-Sabbath. They’re in mourning. Just two days before, they had watched Jesus die. They had seen Joseph of Arimathea prepare His body and bury Him. They watched Joseph roll a giant stone in front of the tomb and took what they thought was their last glimpse at their Lord. Now they’re back at the tomb, with the painful addition of a few Roman guards. The mood is somber, to be sure.
All of a sudden, there was a crazy earthquake! An angel of the Lord had come down out of heaven, rolled back the stone of Jesus’ tomb and was sitting on it. The guards were scared to death, almost literally. But our gals, Mary and Mary, are alert and addressed by the angel. He tells them, “Don’t be afraid, I know you’re looking for Jesus. But guess what, sisters? You won’t find Him here! He’s risen! He’s alive- just like He said He would be. Come, check it out and then go, quick- tell the others!! Jesus is back and you’ll all see Him soon!”
So the Marys do just that. They RUN. They’re a little afraid, but also full of joy. Can you imagine them, out of breath, ready to burst into a room full of disciples and share the news? But before they even get there, the words of the angel come true- they meet Jesus. He greets them and they fall to His feet in worship. They’re met by their Lord in the middle of their mission. And what does He do? He repeats the mission again. “Don’t be scared, girls. Go and tell the brothers to meet me in Galilee.” Jesus trusted these women with His message. He believed in their ability to proclaim the truth!
The gospel of Matthew closes shortly after this story with the eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee. The Marys are no longer mentioned, but we know from Mark 16 and Luke 24 that Mary and the gals told the disciples Jesus was back and they didn’t believe it. It took Peter running to the tomb himself to see and believe.
On the mountain, Jesus gave the disciples the very same mission as the ladies: go and tell.
Go, make disciples all over God’s world! Baptize them in the name of the triune God and teach them how to keep Jesus’ commandments. And remember- He is always with you, until the end. (my paraphrase)
The women were called to go somewhere specific: back home, back to their fellow believers in the family of God. They were called to tell something specific: Jesus is alive! The disciples were given a more general call to the nations (which we share,) but the message was the same - Jesus is alive. He meant what He said. Everything He promised has come true!
Sisters, we may not get directions as specific as Mary and Mary, but we can know with confidence that we are called to go and tell others the good news. And this good news is so worth telling, isn’t it?
If we don’t think of sharing the gospel with the same fervor, perhaps we need to revisit why the good news is so good.
We don’t need the approval or commissioning of others to start telling people about Jesus. We don’t need the perfect words. Think again of Mary, out of breath, bursting into the disciples’ room. We don’t know for sure, but maybe the only words she could get out were, “He’s here.” or “Jesus is alive.” She ran and she told others because the news was so good! Her beloved Lord was back! If we don’t think of sharing the gospel with the same fervor, perhaps we need to revisit why the good news is so good.
I want to be a woman who agrees with what Matthew 28 tells us: Jesus trusts women with His message. Jesus sends out women to be proclaimers of His good news. In my life, that looks like sharing what Jesus is teaching me with everyone in my influence: my husband and kids, my house church, the DWITW network, and my friends on social media. It could be as simple as texting a quick encouragement or squeezing a friend’s hand and saying, “He is here.” It could be more involved, like writing a blog post, or leading a Bible study, or sharing the gospel with someone for the first time. Whatever it looks like, the story of Matthew 28 reminds us Jesus has commissioned us, and opportunities to tell others about Him are all around us. Let’s ask for eyes to see those opportunities and the courage to get up, go, and tell whenever he asks.
Natalie Herr wants to live in a world where all people experience the freedom and joy of the gospel, and where we all just get to sit at the feet of Jesus. When she's not caring for her husband and four kids, you can find her leading the DWITW team, co-shepherding a house church, dreaming up adventures, and reading as often as possible.
Her favorite Scripture at the moment is Psalm 52:8-9, ESV.