More from Knut Tveitereid in Oslo: I love it when Bible expositors mine riches out of a text by attending to the details of the language. Knut discussed the importance of the four “all’s” in the Great Commission:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, [another “all” word in Danish] to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
All authority. Jesus possesses “all authority in heaven and earth.” Human beings don’t. Knut applied this in “discipleship” efforts, which often degenerate into personality cults and human beings asserting an authority that they really don’t have.
All nations. Discipleship is for everybody. No one may be excluded. Instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to ministry, we need to respond to the specific individual. (One person at a particular moment may need to hear the Law; another may need to hear the proclamation of forgiveness, etc.)
All that I have commanded you. We must employ God’s Word in all of its richness, complexity, and “thickness.” Many approaches to discipleship are simplistic and shallow. They often take one teaching of the Bible and build on it to the exclusion of others.
I am with you always. “The presence of Christ is the crux of discipleship.” Here is the importance of the post-Easter Jesus that he talked about earlier, the post-Ascension, post-Pentecost Jesus of Word and Sacrament. Jesus is truly present with us. The best definition of discipleship: “Recognizing Christ and responding accordingly.”