This sets the scene for the words of the risen Jesus that are traditionally known as the
The text appears in Matthew 28:18b-20:
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
It is possible to understand the Great Commission as a summary of Matthew's Gospel taken as a whole (and indeed all the Gospels). Jesus whose story has been told throughout the Gospel now appears as the risen Lord who is worthy of homage and even worship. As the glorious Son of Man (see Daniel 7), the risen Jesus declares that all power in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. As the great authoritative Teacher, the risen Jesus commissions His closest followers to carry on his mission of teaching. As the Son of God, the risen Jesus directs that all nations be baptized in His name. And as "Emmanuel" or "God with us" (see Matt 1:22-23), the risen Jesus promises to accompany his followers until the end of the present age. Likewise, the disciples who had been repeatedly characterized by Matthew as having only a "little faith" now receive their commission to teach "all nations" and not simply their fellow Jews ("the lost sheep of the house of Israel," see Matt 10:5). It is likely that these words presented an especially timely challenge to Matthew's largely Jewish Christian community around A.D. 90 to expand their own vision beyond those who were Jews by birth and so to include non-Jews in their mission.
|If you have come to this sight as a "Christian" in response to a TRUE calling of our Lord Jesus Christ to become ordained to preach the Gospels of Jesus Christ, we welcome you. |