THE ASCENSION THE LORD – I Am With You

Matthew: 28:16-20

Jesus wants his 11 apostles to go to Galilee, they find him there. They are happy but some still have doubt. Jesus makes no claim to them. He announces to them that he has already received full power in heaven and on earth and gives them the last mission:

“Make disciples” in all nations and to do so they must go, baptize and teach.

It’s not about looking for students, but disciples. A student goes to a classroom and learns topics, a disciple instead follows a teacher, participates in his values and ends up imitating him.

Regarding baptism, there are texts that indicate that there were baptisms in the name of Jesus, however, here Jesus himself asks and orders that baptism be done in the name of the trinity: of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

I give this example: If someone asks me for a donation on behalf of the hospital, I know that the donation does not go to that person but to the hospital. When I baptize in the name of the Father of the Son and of the Spirit it is clear that I am simply a minister but that the one who is really baptizing is the divine family: the Father,  the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Now it is clear that Jesus is not content with just being baptized, He wants us to continue discipleship throughout life. It will never be enough; we can always learn more to think like him, to live like him, and love like him.

The last verse of Matthew is a clear contrast to the Ascension that we see(read) in Luke, Luke highlights the departure of Jesus where Matthew highlights the permanence of Jesus with us. Matthew had begun his gospel with the prophecy: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Emmanuel, which means God with us ”; and now at the end instead of giving us details about the ascension, Matthew brings us the last words of Jesus, which give us immense confidence and joy:

“I am with you every day until the end of the world.”