June 15, 2003
Deut 4:32-34,39-40 II:
16 The eleven disciples came into Galilee to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
17 And on seeing him they paid him homage, but some hesitated.
18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: "All power in heaven and on earth has given to me.
19 Go, make disciples of all the Gentiles, 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. And behold I am with you all days until the end of the age."
- The appearance of the risen Jesus on the mountain in Galilee
concludes Matthew's Gospel. The passage summarizes three
- Jesus' supreme and universal power and authority.
- His church is open to all Jews and Gentiles alike and is ruled by
- The fulfillment of the title "Emmanuel".
- (v.16) Jesus started his mission in Galilee (see 4:12-17) and from
this very place he sent his people to be disciples of all nations.
- (v.17) 'Paying Jesus homage but also doubting' is the typical
itinerary of the faith of disciples of all times. Before being
enlightened the disciples must journey through the darkness of doubt,
hesitation, and frustration.
- (v.18) When claiming "all power in heaven and on earth has been given
to me," the risen Jesus accepts what is said about the "Son of Man" in
Dan 7:14, and reaffirms his kingship (Mt 27:11).
- (v.19) Under Moses' law, only Jewish males could be properly
introduced to be the member of God's chosen people through
circumcision. [Females were members of the community, but they were
dedicated with no outward sign.] Under Jesus' teaching all mankind is
invited to enter his kingdom through a new initiation rite: baptism in
the name of the Father-Son-Holy Spirit, and to keep his law, the law
- (v.20) The promise assumes a "time of the church" between the
inauguration of God's kingdom through Jesus and its fullness at the
end of the world.
One Main Point
In baptism, the new people of God is born again into the mysterious
life provided by the trinity of the Creator, the Savior and the
Sanctifier. The condition to remain in this new life is to teach and to
observe Jesus' commandment, the commandment of love.
- This is the way God loves: the Father loved us so much as to give us
his Only Begotten Son; through love, the Son gave up his life for our
sake; and the Holy Spirit brings into us the same love with which God loves us. As the risen Jesus' disciples how do you exercise this love,
especially to the least of His people, in your daily life?
- Certainly we do not have any doubt about the risen Jesus; but is
there any hesitation, frustration while you are teaching and observing
- Gone is the race and gender superiority among the children of God.
Do you, while sharing Jesus' discipleship, exclude others
(individuals, family, group, community ...) from your spiritual
territory? Do you recall a time when you felt so proud of yourself that
someone else was made to suffer because of his or her class?
- How strong is our inner enthusiasm to reach out to present Jesus to
someone, to lead someone to baptism?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community