Matthew 28:20 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
20. Lo, I am with you That is, with the ministry he commissions. From which we infer three things: 1. That there is an order of men commissioned by Christ to continue, by some sort of succession, to the end of the world.
2 . We have a test by which the Church and the world can estimate a true ministry. Christ is with them. If Christ be not with them they are not in the true succession, however well signed their ministerial diploma or well traced their ordination pedigree. Ordaining hands cannot convey by a mechanical or muscular conductor the presence of Christ. To test whether the presence of Christ be with them, our Saviour gives a new rule: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” A wicked minister can never, therefore, be in Christ’s true succession. 3. We have a blessed promise for the truly commissioned minister. Christ’s presence is with him! And for a holy ministry collectively, whose duty is to convert the world, Christ’s presence is with them in the length and breadth of that great enterprise.
Unto the end of the world The word here is αιων and not κοσμος . The latter signifies the world more properly as a material fabric; the former refers more to the living world. It is often equivalent to age, or dispensation. It here signifies the present human system, the living world. It is equivalent, then, in duration, to the sacramental promise: “Ye do show forth the Lord’s death until he come.” 1Co 11:26.
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Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885) was a prominent university professor, theologian, and author. He served as Professor of Ancient Languages at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Michigan; and as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856 to1884. He authored numerous books including Commentary on the New Testament (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1860); Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1873); What is Arminianism? (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1879); and Essays, Reviews, and Discourses (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887).