What will we do as disciples?

Posted by on Jun 5, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on What will we do as disciples?

Sunday, June 7, has been designated as Trinity Sunday…and another term is listed, being “Peace with Justice Sunday”. I think it is rather ironic that the “Peace with Justice” label is prominent this Sunday in the light of what we have been living through these past 9-10 days. One of the suggestions in an article written regarding suggestions for themes, etc., that I normally consider when beginning my studying and preparations, was that we not try to explain the Trinity this Sunday. In my estimation, one of the most important verses to understand the Trinity is in Genesis 1:26, when God is considering who will care for the animals and earth that was created. This verse says, “Then God said, “Let US make humankind in OUR image, according to OUR likeness…”(Gen 1:26). It was the use of the words “us and our” indicated to me that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were one. All were part of the creation of the world. So…to move to our consideration of the gospel for today from Matthew 26:16-20. When we were considering the gift of the Holy Spirit last week during our celebration of Pentecost, we can read further in the book of Acts and find out that the disciples stayed in Jerusalem for awhile, After the crowd confessed their sin of crucifying Jesus, the disciples talked with and taught the crowds. Those in the crowd believed and wanted to be baptized. And there were 3000 people who were added to the disciples and spent time studying and praying and sharing in breaking of bread and prayers. In considering our gospel reading from Matthew today, we find that the disciples had been directed to go to Galilee to a mountain. Jesus appeared to them. Some of the disciples believed and some were skeptical. How did Jesus react to those who were skeptical that this really WAS Jesus? He didn’t degrade them in any way. Remember that the disciples HAD followed the words of the women who saw Jesus at the empty tomb. The disciples had seen Jesus when they were together in the room…for safety and for coming together to prepare for what Jesus was promising them. Also, Jesus was always telling them they would go to “nations”…and for these people, that meant Gentiles. The Jews did not want to consider ministering to Gentiles…they were not the same as the Jews were. (Could we classify this as discrimination on both “sides”…as the Gentiles did not like the Jews?) Yes..even though Jesus had the disciples ministering to the Israelites…they are now being commissioned to go to ALL nations. What changed their minds? Probably when Jesus said to them He had been given “all authority” in heaven and on earth. He was raised to heaven by God. He commissioned them to go to all nations, teaching and baptizing the converts in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. There it is….the Trinity! Remember that they had been given the power by the Holy Sprit on Pentecost. These people were to make disciples to be followers and to do what Jesus taught to further God’s word to all the people. They were to teach and baptize…and implicit in this command was to forgive and teach people to forgive each other and obey what Jesus had commanded. I can just imagine how the disciples were feeling at this point. Yes…they were pleased that Jesus was commissioning them, but “now what”? After working with the people in the temple in Jerusalem, they had the sense that this wouldn’t be an “easy” job...

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