Memorize & Ponder for Sunday April 27, 2014
What Kind of Christ is this Jesus?
Matthew 28:18-20 (NRSV)
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.
I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Throughout 2014, the Christian community at Brentwood Presbyterian Church is getting to know Jesus, the Christ, in a refreshing and transformative way. We invite you to listen for what the Spirit is saying in the text, then question how those insights might change the ways you see things and act in the world. Share your thoughts during the week on the meaning the Spirit creates for you in this text by posting a comment here.
A Provocative Ponder
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us provoke one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together … (Hebrews 10:23-25a)
There are some interesting dynamics in these final words of Matthew’s gospel that reveal the kind of Christ Jesus is.
First, Jesus takes the initiative and comes to the disciples. This is a pattern throughout the Scriptures. God comes to people. God approaches them. God actually seeks them out, often from places where they are hiding in fear. What fears are you trying to use to hide from God? Just in case you were wondering, they won’t work in the long term. God will break through them with a liberating love.
Second, Jesus has been given all ‘authority’ in heaven and on earth. Exousia is the Greek word for ‘power’ in the sense of the right and the ability to perform an action. Jesus, in other words, can deliver on his promise. He has been given the power of God to reconcile and reform.
Third, he uses that power to send his followers into the world to be blessings – to baptize and to teach.
Finally, and underlying all these others things, there is the promise of ongoing presence, of continuous companionship. The power Jesus has been given to redeem is always with his followers as they engage in his ongoing mission in the world.
And a reminder to invite your friends and neighbours to contribute suitcases and diapers to our community service projects.