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Matthew 28: 16 — 20

Holy Trinity     Year B

NEW AMERICAN BIBLE

16   8 The eleven 9 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to
       which Jesus had ordered them.

17   10 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

18   11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in
        heaven and on earth has been given to me.

19   Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations,
       baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
       and of the holy Spirit,

20   teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
       13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

 

8 [16-20] This climactic scene has been called a “proleptic parousia,” for it gives a foretaste of the final glorious coming of the Son of Man (⇒ Matthew 26:64). Then his triumph will be manifest to all; now it is revealed only to the disciples, who are commissioned to announce it to all nations and bring them to belief in Jesus and obedience to his commandments.

9 [16] The eleven: the number recalls the tragic defection of Judas Iscariot. To the mountain . . . ordered them: since the message to the disciples was simply that they were to go to Galilee (⇒ Matthew 28:10), some think that the mountain comes from a tradition of the message known to Matthew and alluded to here. For the significance of the mountain, see the note on ⇒ Matthew 17:1.

10 [17] But they doubted: the Greek can also be translated, “but some doubted.” The verb occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in ⇒ Matthew 14:31 where it is associated with Peter’s being of “little faith.” For the meaning of that designation, see the note on ⇒ Matthew 6:30.

11 [18] All power . . . me: the Greek word here translated power is the same as that found in the LXX translation of ⇒ Daniel 7:13-14 where one “like a son of man” is given power and an everlasting kingdom by God. The risen Jesus here claims universal power, i.e., in heaven and on earth.

12 [19] Therefore: since universal power belongs to the risen Jesus (⇒ Matthew 28:18), he gives the eleven a mission that is universal. They are to make disciples of all nations. While all nations is understood by some scholars as referring only to all Gentiles, it is probable that it included the Jews as well. Baptizing them: baptism is the means of entrance into the community of the risen one, the Church. In the name of the Father . . . holy Spirit: this is perhaps the clearest expression in the New Testament of trinitarian belief. It may have been the baptismal formula of Matthew’s church, but primarily it designates the effect of baptism, the union of the one baptized with the Father, Son, and holy Spirit.

13 [20] All that I have commanded you: the moral teaching found in this gospel, preeminently that of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The commandments of Jesus are the standard of Christian conduct, not the Mosaic law as such, even though some of the Mosaic commandments have now been invested with the authority of Jesus. Behold, I am with you always: the promise of Jesus’ real though invisible presence echoes the name Emmanuel given to him in the infancy narrative; see the note on ⇒ Matthew 1:23. End of the age: see the notes on ⇒ Matthew 13:39 and ⇒ Matthew 24:3.

 

Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised
edition (c) 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,
Washington D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner.
All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced
in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

 

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