Sunday 15 June 2014

Bible Book:

"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." (vv. 19-20)

Matthew 28:16-20 Sunday 15 June 2014


Today's passage takes us to a transitional place, where heavenand earth meet. The risen Jesus, embodying all authority on heavenand on earth, met the disciples on the mountain top. Earlier inthis chapter the women were greeted by the risen Jesus as they leftthe empty tomb (Matthew 28:9). Jesus sent them to tell the otherdisciples to go to Galilee where they would see him (Matthew28:10). The meeting on the mountain reminds us of othermountains where people found themselves in the presence of God:Moses met with God at the burning bush on Mount Horeb and was sentto free the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt (Exodus3:1-12); Elijah found himself in the presence of God on MountSinai and was sent from there to :anoint kings and his ownsuccessor (1 Kings 19:11-18); Peter, James and John hadseen Jesus transfigured on a mountain, a foretaste of theresurrection appearances, and had been urged by God to listen tohim (Matthew 17:1-5).

As the disciples met with the risen Christ, they worshipped andsome doubted. Even in the midst of worship, there is room fordoubt. The commission that followed was for all of them, includingthe questioners and doubters. The disciples were sent to makedisciples and to teach. There is nothing exclusive about thisgospel, they were sent to all nations because the good news is foreveryone.

This is the only place in the New Testament where the triune name(Father, Son and Holy Spirit) occurs in connection with Baptism.Elsewhere Baptism is in the name of Jesus or in the name of Christ.Here it is clear that those who are baptized enter into arelationship with God whose being is eternally in relationship andwho is encountered as Parent, Son and Spirit. It is a greatmystery, but the Christian belief in the Trinity is grounded in ourexperience of, and relationship with, the triune God.

To Ponder

  • Where or when have you been very conscious of the presence ofGod?
  • What questions do you want to ask God?
  • Who might feel excluded from the Christian message today? Thinkof one thing you might do to reach out to them.
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