“All authority”! No one can legitimately contradict, challenge, or cast doubt on the Lord’s claim. Jesus has “all authority”! He speaks with the authority that only God can — ALL authority! What he gives in today’s Scripture are our marching orders as his followers. They also contain his promise to be with us as we follow those marching orders. We call this passage the Great Commission. As we contemplate the work and role of the Holy Spirit, we also hear a clear reminder in the Great Commission that baptism is important to God. It is important because of what God — as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — does in our baptism. Matthew begins and ends his account of the earthly ministry of Jesus with an emphasis on baptism and the involvement of Father, Son, and Spirit (Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:18-20). The emphasis on our spiritual lives being rooted in God — as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — is also picked up and emphasized by Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19, from which today’s prayer is adapted.
I kneel before you, Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of your glorious riches you may strengthen us with power through your Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And I pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all your holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. In the name of Jesus. Amen.