Friday, September 23, 2011
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) 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." Matthew knows how to close a gospel with a punch! Jesus commissions the disciples, and here makes them apostles. There is actually a difference folks. An apostle is one who is sent with authority to speak for another. A disciple is merely a student. We get to become disciples, but apostleship was for those entrusted with the authority Jesus now hands off to the disciples. First the Authority is given to Jesus. This authority is needed, if the disciples are to teach everything they have been commanded to teach, which is the real sense of this passage. People always, I guess because our old Adam is always such a legalist, that the commanded part here means more commandments. It doesn’t. The old are still valid enough. We already have enough commandments, one wonders if Jesus really would have been able to add one. But He has commanded the disciples to teach certain things concerning himself, like the fact that he is God, that he is the Messiah, that his baptism saves. Oh yeah, lets go back to that. Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Baptizing, by the way is always with water unless otherwise specified. Water is always assumed with this word. There is only one baptism and it uses water. It is by this baptism that disciples are made of all nations. And All nations, means all peoples, and by extension all people. There is no way to weed children out of this. The moment one is born, they belong to a people a nation. It is rather automatic. So all nations does infact include children and infants. But then to be made a disciple they have to be baptized into the Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is worth mentioning that this is perhaps the sedes doctrinae, proof text, for the doctrine of the triune God. Here you have One name followed by three monikers. The Name, it is Solomons dedication of the temple that perhaps sheds most light on the meaning of name in the Old Testament. Solomon talks of the name dwelling in the temple, even though God fills all the earth. The name is the being, one is baptized into the being of God, who is three persons in one. There is an ontological unity shared by the three persons, an essential unity. Therefore the Three Persons mentioned share one name.