Perhaps you have heard of the book, The Bible Code. It's a book that came out in 1997 and predicted lots of weird things because of the way certain parts of the bible were arranged. I certainly don't recommend buying that book, but I bring it up because, when people start counting things in the bible, it can remind some people of that.
In many of the early manuscripts, there were no spaces between the words. This obviously made it hard to read. WhatifIdidthatfortheentiretime? I would think that you would quickly give up trying to read this. But if the topic was important, and if you already knew a little bit about the subject matter, you might be able to handle it. And, of course, having no spaces would save some extremely valuable paper. So I say this to make the point that counting words would be very helpful to make sure that a person has a good understanding of the text.
And I bring all of this up because, with it being Easter Sunday, the text is part of the last chapter of Matthew, the resurrection account of that gospel. All the accounts are significantly different when it comes to the resurrection, and that makes sense. As Jesus had somewhat different roles before his crucifixion--all of which would fit with his being Savior--he had slightly different roles after his resurrection which, again, would fit with his role as Savior.
So when Jesus tells the women to go and tell the disciples that they had seen him, the word used is one for giving a report. It's very similar to the word 'angel', an appointed messenger. Jesus, in a way, is instructing the women, and, when he will be meeting with the disciples, he will instruct them as well; and he will be telling them to instruct others. Jesus has been a 'Savior-Teacher' all through this account.
So, looking at the text in the original language, we have Jesus' words in basically the middle of the chapter and basically at the very end as well. That's an unusual structure that I would like to write more about some other time.
But I was looking at the number of words at both points, and it was interesting to see that, at the end of the chapter, the very middle word of Jesus' words to his disciples is the word 'Son'; it's in the middle of the baptismal formula. And the middle of the middle quotation (if you count the one word greeting as well) is after the word 'my' of 'my brothers' and before the word 'that', telling the disciples what to do. What I thought was interesting as well was that this was the middle point of the entire chapter. That, of course, may be a coincidence (and I may have counted wrong). But it also may be a very carefully crafted text.
I think I've mentioned before that the middle point of a text is an important part of the Hebrew writing style of that day and in the Old Testament as well. And we see that again in this text. I think that it's a very carefully written text.
It's one thing to look at the bible and say that it's going to predict an attack on America. It's a totally different thing to say that the bible centers on Jesus. And it's a slightly different thing from that to say that a certain part of the text of the bible REALLY centers on Jesus.
And I thought it was great that Jesus calls the disciples his brothers. Those were the ones who just left him when things started to get difficult. Jesus takes them back with his kind words. And he takes us back as well.