Jesus Appearance in Matthew and the Great Commission
Matthew provides a brief account of Jesus appearance after his resurrection in Galilee. While the story shares an indication that Jesus had instructed the disciples to meet him at a mountain in Galilee. Unlike Luke who says this occurs in Bethany, the author of Matthew does not name the mountain.
Matthew has something more important to say than the location of the ascension. In one of the most oft-quoted passages from Matthew, Jesus shares what has become known as the Great Commission:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
Jesus assures the disciples of his continuing presence with them and charges them to baptize in the name of the “Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
From this passage, the restoration tradition of stating a person’s name and then continuing: “having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” began.
What does it mean to make disciples? Disciple formation is a response to the mission initiative to Develop Disciples to Serve. “Lifelong Disciple Formation in Community of Christ is the shaping of persons in the likeness of Christ at all stages of life. It begins with our response to the grace of God in loving community and continues as we help others learn, grow, and serve in the mission of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, discipleship is expressed as one lives the Mission Initiatives of the church through service, generosity, witness, and invitation.” (Community of Christ Lesson Series).
Spiritual Practices for Today
Reflect on a good book that has had a positive influence in your life and how its ideas helped shaped and form you. How much more does God desire to shape and form you? What transformation do you feel at work in your life?
Prayer of Contemplation
Pray: Source of Intelligence and Cause of Wonder, illuminate our journey that as we seek to form ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ we are blessed with the gifts of knowledge, love and peace. May we learn those new things each day that you wouldst have us learn to become who we are called to be. May we be forgiven our ignorance and our idleness. Guide is in the pathways of your will to new visions of your kingdom we pray in Jesus name. Amen.
My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
What word or phrase do you find yourself wanting to contemplate and explore in this passage?
How is this passage speaking to you today?
Daily Bread and Daily Prayer for Peace
Download or open the Community of Christ app on your smartphone or visit www.cofchrist.org to read today’s Daily Bread and Prayer for Peace. After reading the Daily Bread, consider these questions:
What is the main point made by the author?
How can this reflection help guide you in spiritual formation today?
Pray the Mission Prayer: God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me the courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen.
2021 Guiding Question: Are we moving towards Jesus, the peaceful One?