The Bible reading I will be looking at today is taken from Mathew 28: 16-20
(The other lectionary readings are as follows: Genesis 1: 1-2,4a – Psalm 8 – 2 Corinthians 13: 11-13)
Gospel: Matthew 28.16-20
“Jesus has summoned the disciples to this farewell meeting on a mountain in Galilee. The phrase ‘they worshipped him; but some doubted’ is a little misleading, as it suggests that some did one thing (worship), while others did another (doubt). The Greek words are both participles – that is, ‘worshipping’ and ‘doubting’ – so it could be that the same disciples are doing both actions. The words of Jesus that all authority has been given to him echo the kind of cosmic picture in passages such as Daniel 7.13-14, yet the idea of authority itself has been comprehensively unpacked throughout Matthew’s Gospel, whereby the power of Jesus to effect change is often contrasted unfavourably with the institutional authority of the Jewish leaders (Matthew 7.29; 9.5-6; 21.23; 23.3). The authority of Jesus is the real deal, conferred by God, who created the heavens and the earth and who can therefore grant this authority. It forms the firm foundation from which it is possible to go to all the nations. Matthew is often described as a Gospel with a narrowly Jewish focus, but here we see his wider concerns. It is Matthew who tells us about the Magi at the opening of his Gospel, and it is Matthew who gives us this command about ‘all nations’ at the end. Every ethnicity and culture is included. The strong verb in this command is not ‘go’ but ‘make’ – that is, ‘in going and baptizing, make disciples’. The Trinitarian formula – ‘of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’ – has become a very familiar part of our ritual, but in this context is surely saying something both universal and inclusive: the whole of God for the whole of the world. Equally, Jesus commands his disciples to pass on everything that he has taught them. The mission passes into their hands, and into ours.”
How do we pass on everything we have learnt, or do we sometimes keep what we have learnt to ourselves feeling somehow that it is our alone, it reminds me of a true story from my days in Clothing manufacture, a good friend worked as a pattern cutter for Jaeger tailoring he was very good at what he did, but decided he wanted a change – dramatically he decided to move with his young family and became a farm hand, this was pre the mobile access we have today, about a year later we got a phone call at home, it was my friend he was back at Yeager tailoring, he had loved the first few months but soon realised the older farm hands were not willing to share their knowledge, he stayed in this job for many years, but I have often wondered what would have happened if they had shared their knowledge, I think, no I know that that is what our task is, as Christians the mission is in our hands, it’s are task to make sure that message reaches as many people as possible. The format may change but our duty does not.