Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; (28:19–20a)
The fourth element for effective fulfillment of the church’s mission is obedience to the Lord’s command, made possible only when the attitudes of availability, worship, and submission characterize the believer’s life.
It was in light of His absolute, sovereign authority that Jesus commanded, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” The transitional word is therefore. “Because I am sovereign Lord of the universe,” Jesus was saying, “I have both the authority to command you to be My witnesses and the power to enable you to obey that command.”
In light of the Old Testament teaching about Israel’s mission to be God’s light to the Gentiles and in light of Jesus’ earthly ministry, it should not be surprising that His commission was to make disciples of all the nations.
Mathēteuō (make disciples) is the main verb and the central command of verses 19–20, which form the closing sentence of Matthew’s gospel. The root meaning of the term refers to believing and learning. Jesus was not referring simply to believers or simply to learners, or He would have used other words. Mathēteuō carries a beautiful combination of meanings. In this context it relates to those who place their trust in Jesus Christ and follow Him in lives of continual learning and obedience. “If you abide in My word,” Jesus said, “then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31). It should be noted that some disciples were not true (see John 6:66).
A person who is not Christ’s true disciple does not belong to Him and is not saved. When a person genuinely confesses Christ as Lord and Savior, he is immediately saved, immediately made a disciple, and immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. Not to be Christ’s disciple is therefore not to be Christ’s at all.
Scripture knows nothing of receiving Christ as Savior but not as Lord, as if a person could take God piecemeal as it suits him. Every convert to Christ is a disciple of Christ, and no one who is not a disciple of Christ, no matter what his profession of faith might be, is a convert of Christ.
The very point of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler was that this man-although highly moral, religious, generous, and admiring of Jesus—refused to give up everything for Christ and submit to Him as Lord. He sincerely wanted eternal life and had the wisdom to come to the source of that life. But he was unwilling to give up his own life and possessions and obey Jesus’ command to “come, follow Me” (Luke 18:18–23). He was willing to have Jesus as Savior but not as Lord, and Christ would not receive him on those terms. Because he refused to be Christ’s disciple when the cost was made clear (like those in John 6:66), he could have no part of Christ or of the eternal life that He gives.
Some popular theologies today teach that Jesus was referring to those who are already believers when He taught such things as, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27; cf. v. 33). Such forms of easy believism maintain that the only requirement for salvation is to “accept Jesus as Savior.” Then, at some later date, a saved person may or may not become a disciple by accepting Christ as Lord of his life. Taking up one’s cross and following Christ (Matt. 10:38) is looked on as a secondary, ideal level of relationship to Christ that is commendable but not mandatory.
The Great Commission is a command to bring unbelievers throughout the world to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the term the Lord uses in this commissioning is make disciples. The true convert is a disciple, a person who has accepted and submitted himself to Jesus Christ, whatever that may mean or demand. The truly converted person is filled with the Holy Spirit and given a new nature that yearns to obey and worship the Lord who has saved him. Even when he is disobedient, he knows he is living against the grain of his new nature, which is to honor and please the Lord. He loves righteousness and hates sin, including his own.
Jesus’ supreme command, therefore, is for those who are His disciples to become His instruments for making disciples of all nations. Jesus’ own earthly ministry was to make disciples for Himself, and that is the ministry of His people. Those who truly follow Jesus Christ become “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). Those who become His disciples are themselves to become disciple makers. The mission of the early church was to make disciples (see Acts 2:47; 14:21), and that is still Christ’s mission for His church.
Jesus’ command for His followers to make disciples was given only once, climactically, at the very end of His earthly ministry. Some might ask, “If it was so crucial, why did Jesus mention it only once?” The reason, no doubt, is that the motivation for reaching others for Christ is innate to the redeemed life. One might as well ask why God’s command for man to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28) was given only once. In each case, reproduction in kind is natural to life. The call to make disciples is stated only once because it is natural for the new creation to be reproductive. It would beg the issue to repeat what is so basic.
The specific requirements Jesus gives for making disciples involve three participles: going (rendered here as go), baptizing, and teaching.
The first requirement makes clear that the church is not to wait for the world to come to its doors but that it is to go to the world. The Greek participle is best translated “having gone,” suggesting that this requirement is not so much a command as an assumption.
Jesus’ initial instruction to the disciples was for them to go only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6; cf. 15:24). God’s design was to offer salvation first to the Jews and then to use them as His missionaries to the rest of the world. The gospel is the “power of salvation to everyone who believes,” but “to the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16; cf. John 4:22). But when Israel as a nation rejected the Messiah-King who was sent to her in Jesus, the invitation for salvation went directly to the entire world.
Jesus compared Israel’s response to God’s call to a wedding feast given by a king for his son. When the favored guests refused to accept the king’s invitation and maligned and even killed some of the messengers, the king had his army destroy the ungrateful and wicked guests. He then sent his servants out to the streets and highways to invite to the feast anyone who would come (Matt. 22:1–10). The picture was of an apostate Israel who refused her Messiah and thereby forfeited the kingdom that He offered to them.
At the end of His earthly ministry, Christ had only a small remnant of believers, and it was to part of that remnant that He gave His commission to evangelize the world. The first sermon of the Spirit-filled church was preached by Peter and directed to Jews and Jewish proselytes who had come to worship in Jerusalem (Acts 2:22). But God later had to dramatically convince Peter that the gospel was also for Gentiles (10:1–48).
As he traveled throughout Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, even the apostle Paul, “the apostle to the Gentiles,” normally began his ministry in a given city at the Jewish synagogue (see Acts 9:20; 13:5; 18:4). But his message was always for Gentiles as well as Jews. At his conversion on the Damascus Road, the Lord said to him,
Arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness, … delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to life and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:16–18)
The second requirement for making disciples is that of baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. To baptize literally means to immerse in water, and certain forms of baptism had long been practiced by various Jewish groups as a symbol of spiritual cleansing. The baptism of John the Baptist symbolized repentance of sin and turning to God (Matt. 3:6). As instituted by Christ, however, baptism became an outward act of identification with Him through faith, a visible, public testimony that henceforth one belonged to Him.
The initial act of obedience to Christ after salvation is to submit to baptism as a testimony to union with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. “Do you not know,” Paul asked the Roman believers, “that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3–4).
Immersion is the most appropriate mode of baptism, not only because the Greek word behind it connotes immersion but even more importantly because that is the only mode that symbolizes burial and resurrection.
Although the act of baptism has absolutely no saving or sacramental benefit or power, it is commanded by Christ of His followers. The only exception might be physical inability, as in the case of the repentant thief on the cross, a prisoner who is forbidden the ordinance, or a similar circumstance beyond the believer’s control. The person who is unwilling to be baptized is at best a disobedient believer, and if he persists in his unwillingness there is reason to doubt the genuineness of his faith (see Matt. 10:32–33). If he is unwilling to comply with that simple act of obedience in the presence of fellow believers, he will hardly be willing to stand for Christ before the unbelieving world.
Baptism has no part in the work of salvation, but it is a God-ordained and God-commanded accompaniment of salvation. Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Jesus made clear that it is disbelief, not failure to be baptized, that precludes salvation; but He could not possibly have made the divine association of salvation and baptism more obvious than He does in that statement.
The association was indisputably clear in Peter’s mind as he exhorted his unbelieving hearers at Pentecost: “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38). The association was just as close in Paul’s mind, as witnessed in his great manifesto of Christian unity: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:4–6).
A person is saved by God’s grace alone working through his faith as a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). But by God’s own declaration, the act of baptism is His divinely designated sign of the believer’s identification with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is a divinely commanded act of faith and obedience.
New converts need to be taught that they should be baptized as soon as possible, not to seal or confirm their salvation but to make public testimony to it in obedience to their newfound Lord. The call to Christ not only is the call to salvation but also the call to obedience, the first public act of which should be baptism in His name.
Throughout the book of Acts, baptism is shown in the closest possible association with conversion. The three thousand souls converted at Pentecost were immediately baptized (Acts 2:41). As soon as the Ethiopian believed in Christ, he stopped his chariot so that he could be baptized (8:38). As soon as Paul received back his sight after his conversion, he was baptized (9:18). When Cornelius and his household were saved, Peter “ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (10:48). As unbelievers in Corinth were being won to Jesus Christ, they were also being baptized (18:8). When Paul found some disciples of John in Ephesus who had only been baptized for repentance, he told them about Jesus, the one for whom John was merely preparing the way, and when they believed “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (19:1–5).
In the context of the Great Commission, baptism is synonymous with salvation, which is synonymous with becoming a disciple. As already emphasized, discipleship is Christian life, not an optional, second level of it.
Baptism is to be made in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not giving a ritual formula, although that beautiful phrase from the lips of our Lord has been commonly and appropriately used in baptismal services throughout the history of the church. In the name of is not a sacramental formula, as seen in the fact that the book of Acts reports no converts being baptized with those precise words. Those words are rather a rich and comprehensive statement of the wonderful union that believers have with the whole Godhead.
In His statement here about baptism, Jesus again clearly placed Himself on an equal level with God the Father and with the Holy Spirit. He also emphasizes the unity of the Trinity by declaring that baptism should be done in Their one name (singular), not in Their separate names. As it does in many parts of Scripture, the phrase the name here embodies the fullness of a person, encompassing all that he is, has, and represents. When he is baptized, the believer is identified with everything that God is, has, and represents.
The pronoun Jesus uses here (eis, in) can also be rendered “into” or “unto.” Those who teach baptismal regeneration-the belief that water baptism is essential for salvation-insist that it must here be translated “into.” But that is a completely arbitrary translation and, in any case, cannot stand up against the many other passages that prove baptism has no part in regeneration but is rather an outward act, subsequent to regeneration, that testifies to its having taken place.
Baptism does not place a believer into oneness with the Trinity but signifies that, by God’s grace working through his faith in Jesus Christ, the believer already has been made one with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The third requirement for making disciples of all nations is that of teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. The church’s mission is not simply to convert but to teach. The convert is called to a life of obedience to the Lord, and in order to obey Him it is obviously necessary to know what He requires. As already noted, a disciple is by definition a learner and follower. Therefore, studying, understanding, and obeying “the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27) is the lifelong task of every true disciple.
In Jesus’ parting discourse to the disciples in the upper room, He said,
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:23–26)
Jesus did not spend time teaching in order to entertain the crowds or to reveal interesting but inconsequential truths about God or to set forth ideal but optional standards that God requires. His first mission was to provide salvation for those who would come to Him in faith, that is, to make disciples. His second mission was to teach God’s truth to those disciples. That is the same twofold mission He gives the church.
No one is a true disciple apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ, and there is no true disciple apart from an obedient heart that desires to please the Lord in all things. The writer of Hebrews makes that attitude of obedience synonymous with saving faith, declaring that Christ “became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:9). Thanking God for the salvation of believers in Rome, Paul said to them, “Though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed” (Rom. 6:17).
Every Christian is not gifted as a teacher, but every faithful Christian is committed to promoting the ministry of teaching God’s Word both to make and to edify disciples of Christ.
19 “Therefore” is probably the correct reading; but even if the word is absent, the logical connection is presupposed by the flow of the commission. Two features tie the command to Jesus’ universal authority.
- Because he now has this authority, therefore his disciples are to go and make disciples—i.e., the dawning of the new age of messianic authority changes the circumstances and impels his disciples forward to a universal ministry he himself never engaged in during the days of his flesh, “except in reluctant anticipation” (Stendahl, “Matthew,” in Peake’s Commentary). His promotion to universal authority serves as an eschatological marker inaugurating the beginning of his universal mission.
- Because of that authority, his followers may go in the confidence that their Lord is in sovereign control of “everything in heaven and on earth” (cf. Ro 8:28).
In the Greek, “go”—like “baptizing” and “teaching”—is a participle. Only the verb “make disciples” (see below) is imperative. Some have deduced from this that Jesus’ commission is simply to make disciples “as we go” (i.e., wherever we are) and constitutes no basis for going somewhere special in order to serve as missionaries (e.g., Gaechter; R. D. Culver, “What Is the Church’s Commission?” BS 125 : 243–53). There is something to this view, but it needs three careful qualifications.
- When a participle functions as a circumstantial participle dependent on an imperative, it frequently gains some imperatival force (cf. 2:8, 13; 9:13; 11:4; 17:27; cf. C. Rogers, “The Great Commission,” BS 130 : 258–67). Only the context can decide the question.
- While it remains true to say that the main imperatival force rests with “make disciples,” not with “go,” in a context that demands that this ministry extend to “all nations,” it is difficult to believe that “go” has no imperatival force.
- From the perspective of mission strategy, it is important to remember that the Great Commission is preserved in several complementary forms that, taken together, can only be circumvented by considerable exegetical ingenuity (e.g., Lk 24:45–49; Jn 20:21; Ac 1:8; cf. Mt 4:19; 10:16–20; 13:38; 24:14).
The main emphasis, then, is on the command to “make disciples,” which in Greek is one word, mathēteusate, normally an intransitive verb, here used transitively (a not uncommon Hellenization; cf. BDF, para. 148 ; Zerwick, Biblical Greek, para. 66; see comments at 13:52; 27:57). “To disciple a person to Christ is to bring him into the relation of pupil to teacher, ‘taking his yoke’ of authoritative instruction (11:29), accepting what he says as true because he says it, and submitting to his requirements as right because he makes them” (Broadus). Disciples are those who hear, understand, and obey Jesus’ teaching (12:46–50). The injunction is given at least to the Eleven, but to the Eleven in their own role as disciples (28:16). Therefore, they are paradigms for all disciples. Plausibly, the command is given to a larger gathering of disciples (see comments at vv. 10, 16–17). Either way, it is binding on all Jesus’ disciples to make others what they themselves are—disciples of Jesus Christ.
The words panta ta ethnē (“all nations”) have been understood primarily in two ways.
- They refer to all Gentiles—i.e., all nations except Israel. Israel has forfeited her place, and now the preaching of the gospel must be kept from her (so Hare, Theme of Jewish Persecution, 147–48; Walker, Heilsgeschichte, 111–13; D. R. A. Hare and D. J. Harrington, “ ‘Make Disciples of All the Gentiles’ (Mt 28:19),” CBQ 37 : 359–69).
- They refer to all people, including Israel (so Trilling, Das wahre Israel, 26–28; Hill; Hubbard, Matthean Redaction, 84–87; John P. Meier, “Nations or Gentiles in Matthew 28:19?” CBQ 39 : 94–102; O’Brien, “Great Commission,” 262–63).
Certainly ta ethnē in its eight occurrences in Matthew (4:15; 6:32; 10:5, 18; 12:18, 21; 20:19, 25) normally denotes Gentiles, often pagans; but 21:43, where ethnos is used anarthrously, is an instance where “people” does not exclude Jews. Moreover, contrary to Hare and Harrington, a good case can be made for saying that the full expression, panta ta ethnē, used four times in Matthew (24:9, 14; 25:32; here), uses ethnē in its basic sense of “tribes,” “nations,” or “peoples” and means “all peoples [without distinction]” or “all nations [without distinction],” thereby including Jews. Could Matthew really be excluding Israel as one source of the hate his followers will have to endure (24:9)? Would he say that any Jewish Christians in any church known to him should not be baptized and taught?
More telling yet, Matthew’s gospel is now, in its final verses, returning to the theme introduced in the very first verse (see comments at 1:1)—that the blessings promised to Abraham and through him to all peoples on earth (Ge 12:3) are now to be fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah. And when that covenant promise is reiterated in Genesis 18:18; 22:18, the LXX uses the same words found here: panta ta ethnē. The expression is comprehensive. In line with all the anticipatory hints of Gentile witness in Matthew’s gospel (1:1; 2:1–12; 4:15–16; 8:5–13; 10:18; 13:38; 24:14 et al.), it would be as wrong to conclude that only Gentiles are in view as it would be to set up another restriction and see this commission as a command to evangelize only Jewish tribes.
Adherents of the church growth movement have in the past attempted to justify their entire “people movement” principle on the basis of this phrase, used here and elsewhere, arguing that ethnos properly means “tribe” or “people” (most comprehensively, perhaps, by H. C. Goerner, All Nations in God’s Purpose [Nashville: Broadman, 1979]). The latter point is readily conceded, but the conclusion is linguistically illegitimate. Plural collectives may have all-embracing force, whether in Greek or English. Doubtless God may convert people by using a “people movement,” but to deduce such a principle from this text requires a “city movement” principle based on Acts 8:40, where the same construction occurs with the noun “cities.” In neither case may missiologists legitimately establish the normativeness of their theories.
The aim of Jesus’ disciples, therefore, is to make disciples of all people everywhere, without distinction. Hill insists that such a command cannot possibly be authentic: “Had Christ given the command to ‘make disciples of all nations,’ the opposition in Paul’s time to the admission of Gentiles to the church would be inexplicable. It must be assumed that the church, having learned and experienced the universality of the Christian message, assigned that knowledge to a direct command of the living Lord.” But we have already seen how slow the disciples were to grasp what Jesus taught. More important, Acts and the Epistles betray no trace of opposition whatsoever to the fact of a Gentile mission. The debate between Paul and his Judaizing opponents was over the conditions of entrance into the Christian community (see comments at 23:15). The many hints throughout Jesus’ ministry that show he anticipated a Gentile ministry after some delay (see comments at 10:16–20, 13:37–39; 24:14) would make it incongruous for him to have not given some commission about this.
The syntax of the Greek participles for “baptizing” and “teaching” forbids the conclusion that baptizing and teaching are to be construed solely as the means of making disciples (cf. Allen, Lagrange, Schlatter), but their precise relationship to the main verb is not easy to delineate. Neither participle is bound to the other or to the main verb with the conjunction kai or a particle, and therefore “they must be viewed as dependent on one another or depending in differing ways on the chief verb” (Beasley-Murray, Baptism, 89; cf. BDF, para. 421). Most likely some imperative force is present, since the disciples are certainly to baptize and teach; but computer studies of the Greek NT have shown that although a participle dependent on an imperative normally gains imperatival force when it precedes the imperative, its chief force is not normally imperatival when it follows the imperative. Luke 6:35 has a close syntactic parallel: “And lend [danizete] to them without expecting to get anything back [apelpizontes].” Not expecting anything in return is certainly not the means of the lending, but it is modal in that it characterizes the lending; and at the same time at least some imperatival force tinges the participle, even if the participle is primarily modal.
Similarly, baptizing and teaching are not the means of making disciples, but they characterize it. Envisaged is that proclamation of the gospel that will result in repentance and faith, for mathēteuō (“I disciple”) entails both preaching and response. The response of discipleship is baptism and instruction. Therefore, baptism and teaching are not coordinate—either grammatically or conceptually—with the action of making disciples. The masculine pronouns autous (“them,” vv. 19–20) hint at the same thing, since ethnē (“nations”) is neuter: the “them” who are baptized and taught are those who have been made disciples. But this is uncertain, because the case of “them” may be ad sensum (i.e., merely according to the general sense). In any case, it would certainly misconstrue the text to absolutize the division between discipleship and baptism-instruction. The NT can scarcely conceive of a disciple who is not baptized or is not instructed. Indeed, the force of this command is to make Jesus’ disciples responsible for making disciples of others, a task characterized by baptism and instruction.
Those who become disciples are to be baptized eis (NIV text note, “into”) the name of the Trinity. Matthew, unlike some NT writers, apparently avoids the confusion of eis (strictly “into”) and en (strictly “in”; cf. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, para. 106) common in Hellenistic Greek; if so, the preposition “into” strongly suggests a coming-into-relationship-with or a coming-under-the-lordship-of (cf. Allen; Albright and Mann). For more on baptism, see comments at 3:6, 11, 13–17. It is a sign both of entrance into Messiah’s covenant community and of pledged submission to his lordship (cf. Beasley-Murray, Baptism, 90–92).
The triple formula containing Father (or God), Son (or Christ), and Spirit occurs frequently in the NT (cf. 1 Co 12:4–6; 2 Co 13:14; Eph 4:4–6; 2 Th 2:13–14; 1 Pe 1:2; Rev 1:4–6). Individually these texts do not prove there is any Trinitarian consciousness in the NT, since other threefold phrases occur (e.g., “God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels,” 1 Ti 5:21). But contributing evidence makes it difficult to deny the presence of Trinitarian thought in the NT documents: (1) the frequency of the God-Christ-Spirit formulas; (2) their context and use: it is impossible, for instance, to imagine baptism into the name of God, Christ, and the elect angels; (3) the recognition by NT writers that the attributes of Yahweh may be comprehensively applied to Jesus and, so far as we have evidence, to the Spirit (cf. C. F. D. Moule, The Holy Spirit [London: Mowbrays, 1978], 24–26).
Many deny the authenticity of this Trinitarian formula, however, not on the basis of doubtful reconstructions of the development of doctrine, but on the basis of the fact that the only evidence we have of actual Christian baptisms indicates a consistent monadic formula baptism in Jesus’ name (Ac 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; similarly, passages such as Ro 6:3). If Jesus gave the Trinitarian formula, why was it shortened? Is it not easier to believe that the Trinitarian formula was a relatively late development? But certain reflections give us pause.
- It is possible, though historically improbable, that the full Trinitarian formula was used for pagan converts, and “in the name of Jesus” for Jews and proselytes. But this is doubtful, not least because Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, never uses a Trinitarian formula for baptism.
- Trinitarian ideas are found in the resurrection accounts of both Luke and John, even if these evangelists do not report the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The faith to be proclaimed was in some sense Trinitarian from the beginning. “This conclusion should not come as a great surprise: the Trinitarian tendencies of the early church are most easily explained if they go back to Jesus Himself; but the importance of the point for our study is that it means that Matthew’s reference to the Trinity in ch. 28 is not a white elephant thoroughly out of context” (D. Wenham, “Resurrection Narratives,” 53).
- The term “formula” is tripping us up. There is no evidence we have Jesus’ ipsissima verba here and still less that the church regarded Jesus’ command as a baptismal formula, a liturgical form the ignoring of which was a breach of canon law. The problem has too often been cast in anachronistic terms. E. Riggenbach (Der Trinitarische Taufbefehl Matt. 28:19 [Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1901]) points out that as late as the Didache, baptism in the name of Jesus and baptism in the name of the Trinity coexist side by side. The church was not bound by precise “formulas” and felt no embarrassment at a multiplicity of them, precisely because Jesus’ instruction, which may not have been in these precise words, was not regarded as a binding formula.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 4, pp. 340–346). Chicago: Moody Press.
 Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 665–669). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.