It looks as if readership has been up and I wonder if that has to do with the debate that has been going on with Vinny. Either way, I am pleased to have anyone on board for the journey of diving into the ocean of truth here at Deeper Waters. Tonight, I intend to wrap up looking for Trinitarian clues in the gospel of Matthew by looking at Matthew 28:16-20, the Great Commission.
6Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Let’s note that when we get to verse 17, we have worship going on of Jesus. Some are doubting. What are they doubting? We don’t know exactly. Maybe Matthew doesn’t want us to know. Maybe he realizes that there might be some hesitation on the part of some but he doesn’t want that to keep us from acting. In every Christian there is some doubt. If there wasn’t doubt about the truths of the gospel, we’d all live much better lives.
Jesus says he has been given all authority. Now right now, the critic of the Trinity is saying “See? This goes against the Trinity!”
I don’t see how.
I have no problem with a functional subordination in the Trinity. The Father acts in that position and he has given the Son the right to act in that regards. This will be looked at more when we get to Acts 2:36 which many a critic has raised to argue against the Trinity.
Yet the next verse is a sign that the view is misunderstood. This is the clearest Trinitarian statement by Christ in the gospels as he says that all nations are to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Make sure you notice that. There is only one name and there are three persons that bear that one name. Jesus has already spoken of the Father numerous times in this gospel and as we say in Matthew 11, he spoke of his unique relationship to the Father. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was spoken of in Matthew 12. This is simply bringing all of the aspects together already taught.
And let us say something on one final point for this. A lot of critics have raised the charge against Christians that we are failing the Great Commission and not taking it seriously for those of us who claim to be followers of Christ. Let me say something in response to all of you critics out there on that point.
You’re absolutely right.
We, as the church, must realize that we have not kept up the same zeal that the early church did and imagine what a difference it would make if we did! Do you stop to think how many places in the world have been lost to secularism? We’re just sitting back and letting it happen. Now we’re doing mission work in new lands and trying to take the gospel to people who have never heard, and that’s excellent and what should be done, but are we doing nothing to try to reclaim territory that has been lost? Are we just going to say good-bye to Western Europe? What about right here in America? Do we think it can go along just fine as it has been doing and we’ll make it? If you think such, I urge you to read Esther 4 and listen to the words of Mordecai.
Let’s not forget that Jesus gave us an incentive to do this. The gospel started out with us being told that Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. That has not changed. He is away physically, but he has promised to never leave us or forsake us, something that only makes sense if he’s omnipresent in some sense making him God. We need to keep in mind the beginning. The Son came here, but he has not abandoned us. He is still with us. It is because of that that we can fulfill the Great Commission.
Is that too much to ask considering all that he did for us when he walked among us and all he does for us to this day?