Last Sunday, as we were finishing up our study of the Gospel of Matthew, the church discussed Matthew 28:18-20, commonly called “the Great Commission”. Over the next few days, I’m going to publish some short posts concerning some things that came out in our discussion. These are probably not novel – in fact, I’m sure they’re not novel – but hopefully they will be helpful to some readers, like they were helpful to me.
First, notice the repetition of the word “all” in these three verses. Primarily, the passage is “bracketed” by two uses of the word “all” that apply to Jesus himself: 1) Jesus said that he has been given all authority, and 2) Jesus said that he would be with his disciples “all the days” (or always).
Jesus’ complete authority and Jesus’ continuing presence not only “brackets” this statement, they must also “bracket” our discipleship. How does Jesus’ complete authority and Jesus’ continuing presence affect our discipleship? What “excuses” does these statements render null and void?