Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Great Authority Empowers Great Commission

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority 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, to the end of the age.”  (Matt 28:18-20)

This authority was given to one who had just been crucified, buried in a tomb, and afterwards had arisen.  Authority was given to him on both heaven and earth so that he who once reigned in heaven might also reign on earth through the faith of his believers.

First they teach all nations; then they baptize those they have taught with water, for the body is not able to receive the sacrament of baptism before the soul has received the truth of the faith.  They were baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit so that the three who are one in divinity might also be one in giving themselves.  The name of the Trinity is the name of the one God.

What a marvelous sequence this is.  He commanded the apostles first to teach all nations and then to baptize them in the sacrament of faith and then, after faith and baptism, to teach them to observe all that he had commanded.  Lest we think these commandments of little consequence or few in number, he added "all that I have commanded you," so that those who were to believe and be baptized in the Trinity would observe everything they had been taught.

Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 4.28:18-20

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