Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Matthew 28:16-20 Commentary
by Eric Barreto
How do you conclude a Gospel?
? How do you close the story of Jesus’ abundant life, stirring death, and transformative resurrection? After so many acts of healing, the harrowing vision of Jesus’ execution, and a triumphant defeat of death, how do you write, “The End?”
Mark famously concludes with a cliffhanger, the air lingering with fear and confusion. Luke’s conclusion forms a bridge to the beginning of Acts, linking the two texts with Jesus’ ascension and serving as a narrative hinge between the two volumes. John notes the many stories he could have told but didn’t. Matthew’s Gospel closes with a commission.
In studying the Gospels, we must continually remind ourselves of their likely purposes. The Gospel writers were probably composing these theological narratives for the sake of insiders, people who already knew the story of Jesus. That is, when Matthew and Mark and Luke and John composed their narratives, they were thinking of their sisters and brothers in their ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL175: Great Commission
April 12, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on readings for April 12, 2015: Matthew 28:16-20 (Accompanying text: Psalm 40:9-10.