We wrap up the Gospel of Matthew this week, and––as mentioned before––Matthew is keen to show Christ as the promised King of Israel. The Gospel presents Jesus to Israel as King, and then shows them reject Him as King, but we see Christ’s Kingship being vindicated by the resurrection and ascension. His final words, often called the Great Commission, are a prime example of Jesus’ attitude regarding His own resurrection. He considered Himself King above all kings, and having been given all authority.
Now, we ought to realize that earth and all dominions have now been given into the hand of the risen and ascended Christ. There are only two options for how Jesus’ appropriation of that authority. He could either abdicate it and never actually employ His power to accomplish the redemptive end for which He died; or He could actually exercise it. The Great Commission shows us that Christ intended to conquer the world which He had been given dominion over, and He intended to conquer it successfully.
We ought to call it the “Successful Commission.” He has all authority and so there is no power which can withstand His reign over history. He will redeem the world through the good news of His atoning work. This ought to give us––as ambassadors of Christ––great confidence. We are sent out to proclaim the victory of our victorious King. We aren’t rallying for votes, hoping we can at least get a majority, we are announcing the conquest.
Finally, a brief word on Colossians, which we will read at the end of this week. Paul didn’t plan the church of Colosse, nor had he ever met the people there. However, he had heard that Jewish zealots were wreaking havoc amongst the believers there. Paul wants to emphasis the importance of their faith and baptism into Christ as the symbol which designates them as the people of God, not the ceremonies, symbols and shadows of the Old Testament. One other thing to note is how far these Jewish zealots had drifted from true faith, especially in the description at the end of Colossians 2:16-23. Faith in the promised Christ was the whole point of the Old Testament Christ, now, in the New Testament age, it is faith in the Christ who came that saves us.