New American Bible (Revised Edition)
16 (A)The eleven[a] disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 [b]When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. 18 [c](B)Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 (C)Go, therefore,[d] and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, 20 (D)teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.[e] And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”Read full chapter
- 28:16 The eleven: the number recalls the tragic defection of Judas Iscariot. To the mountain…ordered them: since the message to the disciples was simply that they were to go to Galilee (Mt 28:10), some think that the mountain comes from a tradition of the message known to Matthew and alluded to here. For the significance of the mountain, see note on Mt 17:1.
- 28:17 But they doubted: the Greek can also be translated, “but some doubted.” The verb occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in Mt 14:31 where it is associated with Peter’s being of “little faith.” For the meaning of that designation, see note on Mt 6:30.
- 28:18 All power…me: the Greek word here translated power is the same as that found in the LXX translation of Dn 7:13–14 where one “like a son of man” is given power and an everlasting kingdom by God. The risen Jesus here claims universal power, i.e., in heaven and on earth.
- 28:19 Therefore: since universal power belongs to the risen Jesus (Mt 28:18), he gives the eleven a mission that is universal. They are to make disciples of all nations. While all nations is understood by some scholars as referring only to all Gentiles, it is probable that it included the Jews as well. Baptizing them: baptism is the means of entrance into the community of the risen one, the Church. In the name of the Father…holy Spirit: this is perhaps the clearest expression in the New Testament of trinitarian belief. It may have been the baptismal formula of Matthew’s church, but primarily it designates the effect of baptism, the union of the one baptized with the Father, Son, and holy Spirit.
- 28:20 All that I have commanded you: the moral teaching found in this gospel, preeminently that of the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5–7). The commandments of Jesus are the standard of Christian conduct, not the Mosaic law as such, even though some of the Mosaic commandments have now been invested with the authority of Jesus. Behold, I am with you always: the promise of Jesus’ real though invisible presence echoes the name Emmanuel given to him in the infancy narrative; see note on Mt 1:23. End of the age: see notes on Mt 13:39 and Mt 24:3.