The final commission (Mt 28:18-28:20)

“Jesus came to them.

He said to them.

‘All authority

In heaven and on earth

Has been given to me.

Go therefore!

Make disciples

Of all nations!

Baptize them

In the name of the Father

And of the Son

And of the Holy Spirit!

Teach them

To obey everything

That I have commanded you!

Remember!

I am with you always,

To the end of the age!”

 

καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων Ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.

πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος,

διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ’ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος.

 

This is unique to Matthew, as he had Jesus give his farewell speech on this unnamed mountain top in Galilee.  The risen Jesus came to his 11 disciples (καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He told them (ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων) that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to him (Ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  Thus, he wanted them to go forth to make disciples in all the gentile countries (πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη), since this was no longer a mere Jewish message, but a wider message to the whole world.  He wanted them to baptize people (βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς) in the name of the Father (εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς) and of the Son (καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ), and of the Holy Spirit (καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος).  No longer was it good enough to have the baptism of John or baptism in the name of Jesus, it had to be trinitarian, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  They were to teach people to obey everything that he had commanded them (διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν), without setting any priorities.  He told them to remember that he would always be with them until the completion of all time (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ’ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος), the end of the world.

 

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What is the sign of the Parousia? (Mt 24:3-24:3)

“When Jesus was sitting

On the Mount of Olives,

The disciples

Came to him privately.

They said.

‘Tell us!

When will this be?

What will be the sign

Of your coming?

What will be the sign

Of the end of the age?’”

 

Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ κατ’ ἰδίαν λέγοντες Εἰπὲ ἡμῖν, πότε ταῦτα ἔσται, καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος;

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:3-4, but it was the named big four apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, and John, who were speaking privately with Jesus, not some disciples.  In Luke, chapter 21:7, there is only the vague “they” speaking with Jesus.  Only Matthew, here brought up the question of the Parousia (παρουσία) or second coming of Jesus.  Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives (Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), just east of Jerusalem where he could see the Jerusalem Temple.  Here, these unnamed disciples came to Jesus privately (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ κατ’ ἰδίαν).  They wanted to know when would these things, like the Temple being destroyed, take place (λέγοντες Εἰπὲ ἡμῖν, πότε ταῦτα ἔσται)?  What would be the sign that Jesus was coming again in the Parousia (καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας).  On top of that, they wanted to know about the end of the world or the completion of the ages (καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος).  Matthew combined the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Second coming of Jesus, and the end of the world together.

Jesus explains the enemy (Mt 13:39-13:39)

“The enemy

Who sowed the weeds is

The devil.

The harvest is

The end of the age.

The reapers

Are angels.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἐχθρὸς ὁ σπείρας αὐτά ἐστιν ὁ διάβολος· ὁ δὲ θερισμὸς συντέλεια αἰῶνός ἐστιν, οἱ δὲ θερισταὶ ἄγγελοί εἰσιν.

 

Only Matthew has this explanation about the parable of the weeds that was earlier in this chapter, 13:24-30.  Jesus, via Matthew, explained about the enemy and the harvest.  The enemy who sowed the weeds was the devil (ὁ δὲ ἐχθρὸς ὁ σπείρας αὐτά ἐστιν ὁ διάβολος).  The enemy was no longer nameless, he was the devil himself (ὁ διάβολος), not merely an evil one.  The harvest will be at the end times (ὁ δὲ θερισμὸς συντέλεια αἰῶνός ἐστιν).  The harvest reapers will be the angels (οἱ δὲ θερισταὶ ἄγγελοί εἰσιν).  The devil has sown the weeds, but the angels will be the harvesters at the end times.