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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Friday 17 January
Disciples' commission

 

Read Matthew 28:16–20
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 … And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (verses 17–18, 19a, 20b)

There is a saying that the ‘first impression is the best impression’! Some may counter it by saying that the ‘last impression is the lasting impression’. With Jesus there is nothing much to choose between these two sayings. In fact, his first and last public expressions are distinctly similar; both were about mission and commissioning. As we have seen earlier this week, at his baptism, Jesus was endorsed and commissioned for mission in the world. In the last scene of earthly Jesus, which constitutes today’s reading, he endorses and commissions the disciples to continue his mission. He also empowered them. The power Jesus shares for mission is gained through his cross at Golgotha rather than the imperial power offered to him by Satan soon after his baptism. The power for mission is the power and authority of the crucified and risen Lord and not of a crusading emperor.

Empowered with this power, the disciples were commissioned to be transforming witnesses in the world. Obviously, they were not to impose themselves or conquer others. Rather, they were to be a persuasive presence following the model of Jesus, who offered to be present (Emmanuel) in their mission journey. The purpose of this presence is the formation of a new global and inclusive community in the name of the divine community called the Triune God. It is almost a mystery that Jesus entrusted this enormous task to a small band of disciples, who showed their inadequacies even in their last meeting with the earthly Jesus. The spread of the gospel reveals the result of this mystery and we are also invited to be part of this mission, which again is a glorious mystery!

† Commissioning God, enhance our mission in the spirit of your crucified Son, rather than diminishing us with the spirit of a crusader. Amen