Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
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(18) All power is given unto me.—Literally, all authority was given, the tense used being that in which men speak of something that occurred at a given point of time. We may possibly connect it with St. Paul’s use of the same tense in the Greek of Philippians 2:8. The exaltation came, the authority was given, as at the moment of the Resurrection, and as the crown of His obedience unto death.

Matthew 28:18. And Jesus came and spake unto them — Even unto those mentioned in the last clause, who at first doubted, but whose doubts were afterward fully removed, and probably by his drawing near, and speaking familiarly with them. “It tended much to the honour of Christ,” says Henry, “that [some of] the disciples doubted before they believed, for, in consequence of this, it cannot be said that they were credulous, and willing to be imposed upon, inasmuch as they first questioned and proved all things, and then embraced and held fast that which they found to be true.” Christ, however, on this occasion, came and spake, not only to them that had doubted, but to all the disciples then assembled, and particularly to the apostles, whom it especially concerned to be fully satisfied of his resurrection, of which they were to be witnesses to mankind, and their knowledge of the truth of which they were to seal with their blood, and to whom the following commission was chiefly given. He therefore did not stand at a distance, but came near and gave them all such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as both turned the wavering scale of such as were slow of heart to believe, making their faith to triumph over their doubts, and gave perfect and lasting confirmation to the faith of the rest, particularly of his chosen witnesses, who certainly from this time never called in question in any degree, either the resurrection of their Lord, or the nature and importance of the commission he now gave them. Saying, All power is given unto me — Gr. πασα εξουσια, all authority. It is manifest, as Beza observes, that “authority and power differ from each other; for many are not able to perform those things which they have a right to do; and, on the contrary, many have power to do those things which they have no right to do.” Our Lord’s authority, however, implies power also. It is the exaltation of our Lord’s human nature that is here chiefly intended, in union, however, with the divine. His meaning is fully explained in the following words: Because he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: therefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at his name every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess him Lord, to the glory of God the Father, Php 2:7-11. God hath raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and put all things under his feet, and given him to be the head over all things to (that is, for the benefit of) the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all, Ephesians 1:20-23. See the notes on these passages, and also on John 5:26-27; and Romans 14:9. The authority and power intended is that which Christ exercises as Son of man and Mediator; but it is evident, if he did not possess all divine perfections, he could not exercise it. Thus Dr. Whitby, “He to whom any office is duly committed, must have sufficient power and wisdom to discharge that office. Now to govern all things in heaven and earth belongs only to him who is the Lord and Maker of them, and therefore is known by this title, both in Scripture and by the heathen. To have power over death, and to be able to raise the dead, is to have that power which is proper to God alone: and to have power over the souls of men, and the knowledge of all hearts, belongs to God alone.” Our Lord, therefore, is invested with, and exercises this authority and power, although as the Son of man, yet not as a mere man, for as such it would have been impossible for him to exercise it, but as a man in whom dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Now Christ being about to send out his apostles as his ambassadors to the nations, with authority to propose to them terms of peace and reconciliation; being about to deliver to them the great charter of his kingdom in the world, and commission them to go forth and gather subjects to him everywhere, and to give laws to and govern those subjects; or to feed and rule his flock; and being about to do these things as Song of Solomon of man; he first, with great propriety, shows them by what authority he acts, and who gave him that authority. He had indeed said, in effect, more than once before, all he now says, (see Matthew 11:27; John 5:20-29,) namely, that all things were delivered unto him of his Father; that the Father had given him authority to execute judgment; yea, had committed all judgment unto him, that all men should honour him, the Son, even as they honour the Father. But though he had a right to, and was invested with, this power before, even during the whole time of his personal ministry; yet, he was not in a condition to exercise it, nor could he have exercised it with propriety, while he was in his state of humiliation, and bore the form of a servant; as he was to exercise it now, being raised from the dead, clothed with immortality and glory, and immediately to be exalted to the right hand of the throne of the divine Majesty in the heavens, Hebrews 8:1.

28:16-20 This evangelist passes over other appearances of Christ, recorded by Luke and John, and hastens to the most solemn; one appointed before his death, and after his resurrection. All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him. Yet the faith of the sincere may be very weak and wavering. But Christ gave such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts. He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. The salvation they were to preach, is a common salvation; whoever will, let him come, and take the benefit; all are welcome to Christ Jesus. Christianity is the religion of a sinner who applies for salvation from deserved wrath and from sin; he applies to the mercy of the Father, through the atonement of the incarnate Son, and by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and gives up himself to be the worshipper and servant of God, as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons but one God, in all his ordinances and commandments. Baptism is an outward sign of that inward washing, or sanctification of the Spirit, which seals and evidences the believer's justification. Let us examine ourselves, whether we really possess the inward and spiritual grace of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, by which those who were the children of wrath become the children of God. Believers shall have the constant presence of their Lord always; all days, every day. There is no day, no hour of the day, in which our Lord Jesus is not present with his churches and with his ministers; if there were, in that day, that hour, they would be undone. The God of Israel, the Saviour, is sometimes a God that hideth himself, but never a God at a distance. To these precious words Amen is added. Even so, Lord Jesus, be thou with us and all thy people; cause thy face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth - The "Son of God," as "Creator," had an original right to all things, to control them and dispose of them. See John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:8. But the universe is put under him more particularly as Mediator, that he might redeem his people; that he might gather a church; that he might defend his chosen; that he might subdue all their enemies, and bring them off conquerors and more than conquerors, Ephesians 1:20-23; 1 Corinthians 15:25-27; John 5:22-23; Philippians 2:6-11. It is in reference to this, doubtless, that he speaks here power or authority committed to him over all things, that he might redeem, defend, and save the church purchased with his own blood. His mediatorial government extends, therefore, over the material world, over angels, over devils, over wicked men, and over his own people. 17. And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted—certainly none of "the Eleven," after what took place at previous interviews in Jerusalem. But if the five hundred were now present, we may well believe this of some of them. See Poole on "Matthew 28:20".

And Jesus came and spake unto them,.... To the eleven disciples and apostles; for though there might be so large a number as before observed, yet the following words were only spoken to the apostles:

saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth; which is to be understood of him, not as God, who has the same original and underived power and authority over all creatures, and things in heaven and earth, as the Father has; but as mediator, to whom all things are delivered by the Father; and not of a power of doing this, or the other thing, or of omnipotence, being the Almighty; nor of doing miracles, and forgiving sins, which he had, and exercised before his death and resurrection, but of governing: he was king before, but his kingdom was not with observation; but now he was declared, and made manifest, to be both Lord and Christ; he had "all" power and authority for the settling the affairs of his church and kingdom, to appoint offices and officers in it, and, to bestow gifts upon men, to qualify them for the same, and to institute ordinances to be observed till his second coming: and this power of his reached to things in heaven; he having the angels in heaven subject to him, as ministering spirits to be sent forth by him at his pleasure; and all the gifts of the Spirit to dispose of as he thought good; and to things on earth, not only to the saints, whose King he is, and who are made willing to serve him; but to all flesh, to kings and princes, who rule and reign by him; and even to all the wicked of the world, who in some shape or another are made to subserve the ends of his mediatorial kingdom and government: and this is not usurped power, but what is given him, and what he has a right to exercise; having finished sin, abolished death, overcome the world, and destroyed the devil; and must reign till all enemies are subject to him: and this he says, and it was necessary to say it at this time, partly on account of his late sufferings and death, which were attended with weakness and reproach; and partly on account of the following commission he gives to his disciples, that it might be seen and believed, he had power and authority sufficient to give them such an one; as also to animate and encourage them under all the weakness, contempt, and persecution that should attend them in their ministry. The Syriac and Persic versions add, "as the Father hath sent me, even so I send you", as in John 20:21, from whence these words seem to be taken.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Matthew 28:18.[41] Προσελθών] From feelings of modesty and reverence, the eleven had not ventured to go quite close to Him.

ἘΔΌΘΗ] with all the emphasis of the conviction that He was triumphant at last: was given to me, etc., was practically given, that is, when the Father awoke me out of death. Thereby His state of humiliation came to an end, and the resurrection was the turning-point at which Christ entered into the heavenly glory, in which He is to reign as κύριος πάντων till the time of the final surrender of His sway into the hands of the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). It is true, no doubt, that when first sent forth by God He was invested with the ἘΞΟΥΣΊΑ over all things (Matthew 11:27; John 13:3); but in His state of ΚΈΝΩΣΙς it would, of necessity, come to be limited by the conditions of that human life into which He had descended. With His resurrection, however, this limitation was removed, and His ἘΞΟΥΣΊΑ fully and absolutely restored, so that He once more came into complete possession of His premundane ΔΌΞΑ (John 17:5; Luke 24:26; Php 2:9 f.; Romans 14:9; Ephesians 1:20 ff; Ephesians 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:25 ff.), the ΔΌΞΑ in which He had existed as the ΛΌΓΟς ἌΣΑΡΚΟς, and to which He was again exalted as the glorified Son of man. Comp. on John 1:14.

ΠᾶΣΑ ἘΞΟΥΣΊΑ] all authority, nothing being excepted either in heaven or earth which can be referred to the category of ἐξουσία. Some, unwarrantably interpreting in a rationalistic sense, have understood this to mean the “potestas animis hominum per doctrinam imperandi” (Kuinoel),—or, as Keim expresses it, the handing over to Him of all spirits to be His instruments in carrying out His purposes in the world,—or absolute power to make all necessary arrangements for the establishment of the Messianic theocracy (Paulus), or power over the whole world of humanity with a view to its redemption (Volkmar), and such like. What is really meant, however, is the munus regium of Christ, free from all limitation, without, however, compromising in any way the absolute supremacy of the Father; John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 15:27; 1 Corinthians 11:3.

[41] Comp. for ver. 18 ff., Theod. Schott in the Luther. Zeitschr. 1871, p. 1 ff.

Matthew 28:18-20. he final commission.

18–20. The Last Charge to the Apostles

18. came] Rather, came up to them, near to them.

power] Rather, authority.

is given] Properly, was given, cp. ch. Matthew 11:27, and Php 2:8-10. These words, in which the infallible King Himself announces His eternal possession of the Kingdom, St Matthew, who is essentially the historian of the Kingdom, alone records.

Matthew 28:18. Προσελθὼν, having come unto) And by that very circumstance, producing faith even in those who doubted.—αὐτοῖς, to them) i.e. addressing them.—ἐδόθη Μοι, has been to Me) especially to Me, risen and ascending. This passage contains the sum of those things which the Lord declared afterwards more fully in the Apocalypse, concerning His possession of all authority, and His presence with His own; see Revelation 1:18; Revelation 1:13.—πᾶσα, κ.τ.λ., all, etc.) This is the reason why Jesus sends His disciples into all the world, and why the whole world ought to worship Him, and why He institutes baptism;[1231] see Ephesians cited below.—ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς, in heaven and on earth) see ch. Matthew 9:16, Matthew 16:1. Hitherto He had been on earth, now He ascends to heaven: He fills all things; see Ephesians 4:10, with the, preceding and following verses.

[1231] For the salvation of men, to be converted on earth, and conducted to heaven.—B. G. V.

Verse 18. - Jesus came. Some medieval exegetes have deemed that this verse refers to the time of the ascension; but there is no valid reason for dissociating this portion from the rest of the account. If we do this, we lose the great reason for the oft-enjoined meeting on the Galilaean mountain, which seems to have been expressly and with much care arranged to notify at large the fact of Christ's Resurrection and of his supreme authority, and to convey the Lord's commission to the apostles in the presence of many witnesses. We may suppose that Jesus, who had been standing apart, now drew near to the company, so that all, especially the doubting, might see him closely and hear his familiar voice. Spake unto them (e)lalhsen au)toi = , talked unto them). Doubtless he said much more than is here recorded, resolving doubts, confirming faith, infusing comfort. "Thus it is even now; we worship him, and then he draws near, and, by his nearer approaches and secret manifestation of himself to our hearts, we are confirmed in the faith, and see in him God and man" (I. Williams). All power (ἐξιυσία) is given (ἐδόθη, was given) unto me in heaven and in earth. Jesus here asserts that he, as Son of man, has received from the Father supreme authority in heaven and earth, over the whole kingdom of God in its fullest extent. This is net given to him as Son o! God; for, as God, naught can be added to him or taken from him; it is a power which he has merited by his incarnation, death, and Passion (Philippians 2:8-10), which was foretold in the Old Testament, by psalmist (Psalm 2:8; Psalm 8:5-8) and prophet (Daniel 7:13, 14), and with which he was indued on the day that he rose victorious from the grave. So the verb "was given" is in the past tense, because it refers to the dotation arranged in God's eternal purpose, and to the actual investiture at the Resurrection. The power is exercised in his mediatorial kingdom, and will continue to be exercised till he hath put all enemies under his feet, and destroyed death itself (1 Corinthians 15:24-27); but his absolute kingdom is everlasting; as God and Man he reigns forever and ever. This mediatorial authority extends not only over men, so that he governs and protects the Church, disposes bureau events, controls hearts and opinions; but the forces of heaven also are at his command, the Holy Spirit is bestowed by him, the angels are in his employ as ministering to the members of his body. Matthew 28:18Came to

Matthew 28:17 evidently describes the impression made by seeing him at a distance. Possibly from feelings of modesty they had not ventured close to him. Jesus now approaches and addresses them.

Spake - saying (ἐλάλησεν - λέγων)

Two different words are here used to express speech, with a nice distinction which can hardly be conveyed without paraphrase. The verb λαλεῖν is used of speaking, in contrast with or as a breaking of silence, voluntary or imposed. Thus the dumb man; after he was healed, spake (ἐλάλησεν); and Zacharias, when his tongue was loosed, began to speak (ἐλάλει). In the use of the word the writer contemplates the fact rather than the substance of speech. Hence it is used of God (Hebrews 1:1), the point being, not what God said, but the fact that he spake to men. On the contrary, λέγειν, refers to the matter of speech. The verb originally means to pick out, and hence to use words selected as appropriate expressions of thought, and to put such words together in orderly discourse. Here, then, we have Jesus first breaking silence (ελάλησεν), and then discoursing (λέγων).

Power (ἐξουσία)

Better, authority, as Rev.

Is given (ἐδόθη)

Lit., was given, by the divine decree.

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