Thursday

03 June 2010

"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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (v.19-20)

Background

Matthew's Gospel begins and ends with the worship of Jesus. At the beginning of the story, the Magi (wise men) (Matthew 2:1-12) come to worship the infant Jesus; at the end, Christ's time on earth ends with the disciples worshipping their Lord on a mountainside.

As the disciples worship Jesus they receive from him what is often called 'The Great Commission'. They are to leave the security of Christ's earthly company and share the good news about him everywhere they go. As they have been Christ's apprentices so they are to train other Christ-apprentices as they travel.

In Matthew's congregations baptisms were in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is the mark of entry into the company of Christ's apprentices. In baptism a Christian is not only immersed in the water but is immersed in the love of the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

To Ponder

Why do you think some folk find it easier to value Jesus as a great teacher than they do to worship him?

To what extent are there good and poor motives for wanting to "make disciples of all nations"? What would you say they are?

David Livingstone, a Victorian scientist, explorer and missionary, wrote in his journal, "Felt much turmoil of spirit at the prospect of all my efforts for the welfare of this great region being knocked on the head by my attackers tomorrow; but I read in my Testament, 'I am with you always'. I took these as the words of a man of the strictest honour and went out and took observations!" How do Jesus' words "I am with you always" help you in your daily life?

Bible notes author: Revd Prebendary Norman Wallwork

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