The disciples went to Galilee as they had been
told by the angel and by Jesus at the empty tomb.
When they meet, their response is to worship,
but hesitantly. Usually in the gospel people come
to Jesus. Here he comes forward towards them,
perhaps because some hesitate. All power on heaven
and earth has been given to me recalls ‘the visions
of the night’ in the book of Daniel [7:14] where
‘one like a Son of Man was led into the presence
of the one of great age and given sovereignty,
glory and kingship, and men of all nations became
his servants’. This is typical of Matthew throughout
his gospel, referring back to the Old Testament,
so that his readers will see that promise has
been fulfilled. The parting command could not
be more challenging: make disciples of all nations,
baptize and teach. And the gospel ends where it
began. In chapter 1, verse 23: His name will be
Emmanuel, that is, ‘God with us’ is recalled again
in the promise of his abiding presence.
The event happens in Galilee. Earlier in the gospel
Matthew quotes Isaiah who speaks of: Galilee of
the nations. As a matter of historical fact, there
were many pagans in Galilee at the time. Even
the setting underlines the mission. He who came
to light the spark of faith confides its continuance
to disciples who, even at this stage of their
training, are not all that convincing: though
The mountain is not named, but it may point us
towards the mountain of the temptation of Jesus,
or that of the transfiguration.
In calling on them to baptize they are to do so
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
There is only one Name, one God. In biblical terms
‘in the name of’ means ‘in the person of’, so
that this Baptism lands us right in the middle
of the life of the three divine Persons. Here,
‘in the Name of’ means ‘in the power of’, in the
power of the one who has given all authority,
and who promises to be present with us all days.
The task of the disciple is to bring this to the
attention of a world that does not recognize the
Spirit of Truth.
• All authority has been given to me .
. . Go and make disciples . . . and teach. .
. When called, the prophet Jeremiah said:
“Look, I do not know how to speak. I am a child”.
But the Lord replied: “I am with you to protect
you.” Some of the disciples hesitated. God chooses
strangely at times, it seems. Can I see any
reason why I might be called today?
• God with us. ‘Know that
I will be with you always’. How do I react to
• Do you think that God is wise to put his
trust in the likes of you and me?
• In the first reading, the angel reprimands
the disciples for continuing to gaze up into
the heavens. Might it be true that, as long
as I can think of God as ‘up there’, the demands
He makes are less urgent?