Matthew 28:19
(19) Teach all nations.--Better, make disciples of all the heathen. The Greek verb is the same as that which is rendered "instructed" in Matthew 13:52, and is formed from the noun for "disciple." The words recognise the principle of a succession in the apostolic office. The disciples, having learnt fully what their Master, their Rabbi, had to teach them, were now to become in their turn, as scribes of the kingdom of heaven, the teachers of others. It is, to say the least, suggestive that in this solemn commission, stress should be laid on the teaching, rather than on what is known as the sacerdotal element, of the Christian ministry; but the inference that that element is altogether excluded requires to be balanced by a careful study of the words of John 20:23, which seem at first sight to point in an opposite direction. (See Note on John 20:23.)

The words rendered "all nations" are the same as those in Matthew 25:32. and, as commonly used by the Jews, would point to the Gentile nations of the world, as distinguished from the people of Israel. They are therefore an emphatic expansion of the commission given in Matthew 10:5. And it is every way interesting that this full declaration of the universality of the Gospel should be specially recorded in the Gospel written, as we see throughout, specially for Jews.

Baptizing them in the name of the Father.--We have to deal (1) with the form, (2) with the substance. As regards (1) we have to explain why, with this command so recently given, the baptisms recorded in the Acts (Acts 2:38; Acts 10:48; Acts 19:5), and referred to in the Epistles (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). are in (or rather, into) "the name of the Lord Jesus," or "of Christ." What has been noted as to the true meaning of the word "nations" seems the best solution of the difficulty which thus presents itself. It was enough for converts from the house of Israel, already of the family of God, to be baptised into the name of Jesus as the Messiah, as the condition of their admission into the Church which He had founded. By that confession they gave a fresh life to doctrines which they had partially received before, and belief in the Father and the Spirit was virtually implied in their belief in Jesus as the incarnate Son. For the heathen the case stood otherwise, They had worshipped "gods many and lords many" (1Corinthians 8:5), had been "without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12), and so they had not known the Father. (2) There remains the question, What is meant by being baptised "into a name"? The answer is to be found in the fact so prominent in the Old Testament (e.g. Exodus 3:14-15), that the Name of God is a revelation of what He is. Baptism was to be no longer, as it had been in the hands of John as the forerunner, merely a symbol of repentance, but was the token that those who received it were brought into an altogether new relation to Him who was thus revealed to them. The union of the three names in one formula (as in the benediction of 2Corinthians 13:14) is in itself a proof at once of the distinctness and equality of the three Divine Persons. We cannot conceive of a command given to. and adopted by, the universal Church to baptise all its members in the name (not "the names") of God and a merely human prophet and an impersonal influence or power.

Verse 19. - Go ye therefore (οϋν). The illative particle is perhaps spurious, but it is implied by what has preceded. It is because Jesus has plenary authority, and can delegate power to whom he will, that he confers the following commission. He is addressing the eleven apostles, of whom alone St. Matthew makes mention (ver. 16); but as they personally could not execute the grand commission in all its extent and duration, he lays his commands upon their representatives and successors in all ages. They were to go forth, and carry the gospel throughout the world. Doubtless herein is implied the duty of all Christians to be in some sense missionaries, to use their utmost efforts to spread abroad the knowledge of Christ, and to make men obedient to his Law. The propagation of the gospel is a work for all in their several spheres. Teach; docete (Vulgate). These are unfortunate renderings of the verb μαθητεύσατε, which means, "make disciples." Teaching is expressed in ver. 20, as one of the elements or components of full discipleship. The imperative aorist μαθητεύσατε is, as it were, decomposed by the two following present participles, "baptizing" and "teaching." In the case of infants the process is exactly what is here represented; they are admitted into the Christian society by baptism, and then instructed in faith and duty. Adults have to be instructed before baptism; but they form a small minority in most Christian communities, where, generally, infant baptism is the rule, and would be regarded rather as exceptions. Teaching alone is not stated by the Lord to be the only thing necessary to convert an unbeliever into a Christian; this is effected by the grace of God applied as Christ proceeds to explain. All nations (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη αλλ τηε νατιονσ). The apostles were no longer to go only to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:6); they were to Christianize all the nations of the world, Jew and Gentile alike. The gospel is adapted to all the varying minds and habits of men, barbarous and civilized, near and remote, ignorant or cultivated; and it is the duty and privilege of Christ's ministers to make it known and acceptable in all quarters of the globe. Baptizing them; i.e. individuals of all the nations. The present participle denotes the mode of initiation into discipleship. Make them disciples by baptizing them. Christ thus explains his mysterious announcement to Nicodemus (John 3:5), "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." To the disciples the notion of baptism was no new thing. As a rite typifying the cleansing of the heart and the purpose of leading a new life, it had been long practised in the case of proselytes to the Jewish faith; they had seen it employed by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:6), and had used it themselves (John 4:1, 2). Christ adopts the old rite, gives it a new solemnity, a most sacred formula of administration, a new meaning, new spiritual effects. The persons to whom and in whose presence he spoke would understand his injunction as applicable to all who were capable of its reception, children and adults, the subjects of the initiatory ceremony of proselytism. There was no need of closer specification. Or, if any such instruction was needed, the rules concerning circumcision would be a sufficient guide. In (εἰς, into) the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Our version follows the Vulgate, in nomine, which does not give the right force to the expression. The phrase does not mean merely invoking the Name, under the sanction of the great Name, but something more than this. It signifies into the power and influence of the Holy Trinity, into faith in the three Persons of God, and the duties and privileges consequent on that faith, into the family of God and obedience unto its Head. The "into" shows the end and aim of the consecration of baptism. The "Name" of God is that by which he is known to us - that which connotes his being and his attributes, that by which there exists a conscious connection between God and ourselves (comp. Matthew 18:20). So being baptized into the Name of God implies being placed in subjection to and communion with God himself, admitted into covenant with him. It is to be observed that the term is "name," not "names," thus denoting the unity of the Godhead in the trinity of Persons. The Lord's words have always been taken as the formula of baptism, and have in all ages been used in its administration. The three Divine Persons were revealed at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16, 17); they are invoked at every Christian baptism. It is true that we read, in the early Church, of persons being baptized "in the Name of the Lord Jesus," and "in the Name of the Lord" (Acts 8:16; Acts 10:48); but this expression by no means assumes that the names of the other Divine Persons were not used; it denotes that the converts were admitted into the religion which Jesus instituted, in fact, were made Christians. The above formula has from primitive times been considered indispensable for the valid administration of this sacrament (see 'Apost. Can.,' 41; Tertull., 'De Bapt.,' 13; Justin Martyr, 'Apol.,' 1:79). "From this sacred form of baptism," says Bishop Pearson, "did the Church derive the rule of faith, requiring the profession of belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, before they could be baptized in their Name" ('On the Creed,' art. 1.).

28:16-20 This evangelist passes over other appearances of Christ, recorded by Luke and John, and hastens to the most solemn; one appointed before his death, and after his resurrection. All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him. Yet the faith of the sincere may be very weak and wavering. But Christ gave such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts. He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. The salvation they were to preach, is a common salvation; whoever will, let him come, and take the benefit; all are welcome to Christ Jesus. Christianity is the religion of a sinner who applies for salvation from deserved wrath and from sin; he applies to the mercy of the Father, through the atonement of the incarnate Son, and by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and gives up himself to be the worshipper and servant of God, as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons but one God, in all his ordinances and commandments. Baptism is an outward sign of that inward washing, or sanctification of the Spirit, which seals and evidences the believer's justification. Let us examine ourselves, whether we really possess the inward and spiritual grace of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, by which those who were the children of wrath become the children of God. Believers shall have the constant presence of their Lord always; all days, every day. There is no day, no hour of the day, in which our Lord Jesus is not present with his churches and with his ministers; if there were, in that day, that hour, they would be undone. The God of Israel, the Saviour, is sometimes a God that hideth himself, but never a God at a distance. To these precious words Amen is added. Even so, Lord Jesus, be thou with us and all thy people; cause thy face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.Go ye therefore,.... Into all the world; some into one place, and some into another; since his power and authority, and so now the commission he gave them, reached every where: before it was confined to Judea, but now it is extended to all the nations of the world; see Matthew 10:6,

and teach all nations; Jews and Gentiles, first the one, and then the other, the doctrines of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it; whatever they had learned from Christ, or were ordered by him, or "disciple all nations": make them disciples by teaching them; or, as the Persic version, by way of explanation, adds, "bring them to my religion and faith": not that they were able to do this of themselves, but they were to teach men externally, or outwardly minister the word, whilst the Spirit of God internally applied it, and taught, and made men true disciples of Christ: and they are such, who have learned to know themselves, their sin, and lost estate by nature; to deny themselves, both sinful and righteous self; who have learnt to know Christ, and the way of righteousness, peace, pardon, life, and salvation by him; and who are taught and enabled to part with all for Christ, and to bear all for his sake, and to believe in him, and give up themselves to him, and follow him whithersoever he goes:

baptizing them; not all nations, for the antecedent to the relative "them", cannot be "all nations"; since , the words for "all nations", are of the neuter gender, whereas "them", is of the masculine: nor can it be thought that it should be the mind of Christ, that all the individuals of all nations should be baptized, as Heathens, Turks, and Jews; but "disciples", supposed and contained in the word "teach", or "make disciples"; such as are taught, and made disciples by teaching, or under the ministry of the word by the Spirit of God: Christ's orders are to "baptize": "dip" them, as Munster's Hebrew Gospel renders it; that is, in water, which, though not expressed, is implied; for with no other baptism could the apostles baptize: not with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; for this was Christ's peculiar prerogative; but with water, which they in obedience to this commission practised, Acts 8:36, and which was to be done

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; by the authority of these three divine persons, who all appeared, and testified their approbation of the administration of this ordinance, at the baptism of Christ: and as they are to be invocated in it, so the persons baptized not only profess faith in each divine person, but are devoted to their service, and worship, and are laid under obligation to obedience to them, Hence a confirmation of the doctrine of the Trinity, there are three persons, but one name, but one God, into which believers are baptized; and a proof of the true deity both of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and that Christ, as the Son of God, is God; since baptism is administered equally in the name of all three, as a religious ordinance, a part of divine instituted worship, which would never be in the name of a creature. This is the first, and indeed the only, place in which the Trinity of persons is expressed in this order, and in the selfsame words. Galatinus (f) pretends, that the ancient Jews used the same way of speaking. It would be well if proof could be made of it: he asserts it to be in Zohar on Deuteronomy 6:4, and in the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel on Isaiah 6:3. In the former he says, it is expressed thus, "hear, O Israel; the Lord", he is called "the Father; our God", he is called the Son; "is one Lord", this is "the Holy Ghost", who proceeds from both; and again, by the same R. Simeon, it is said, "holy", this is "the Father"; "holy", this is "the Son"; "holy", this is , "the Holy Ghost": and in the latter after this manner, "Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Holy Ghost"; but no such words are now to be found in either of these places. He affirms, that he himself saw a copy of Jonathan's Targum that had these words. The Jews often speak of the Tetragrammaton, or name of four letters, the name Jehovah, which they say is not lawful to be pronounced; and also of the name of twelve letters, which the above writer (g) makes to be "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost"; and of forty two letters, which from a book called Gale Razia, he says is,

"Father God, Son God, Holy Ghost God, three in one, and one in three;''

which in the Hebrew language make up so many letters; but this wants better authority.

(f) L. 2. c. 1.((g) Ib. c. 11, 12. Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Heb. in voce

Matthew 28:18
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