First, the Greek word πᾶς (pas), being translated to "all" can also mean, according to the lexicon, "each, every and any" in addition to "all." But when used collectively, the word refers to "some of all types." Is Jesus speaking collectively or individually here? It is clear that the authority of the Supreme Being is a collective assembly of rights and power. Thus, it can only be concluded that Jesus is stating that he has been given certain authority.
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."
In other words, to conclude that Jesus is saying "all" as in every type of authority - including all the rights and provisions incumbent upon the Supreme Being - violates Jesus' own words - and the context within which he states these words.
Sadly, in an attempt to bolster their followers and institutions, sectarian teachers and translators have virtually eliminated the Supreme Being in the teachings of Jesus by teaching that Jesus was "God became man." This contradicts Jesus' teachings, such as:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)and
"My teaching is not my own. It comes from Him who sent me." (John 7:16)and
"If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me." (John 8:42)These and many other statements by Jesus clarified that he is not the Supreme Being. He is sent by God. He is God's representative.
Being sent by someone means there are two persons: The sender and the one being sent. To confuse the two is to offend both.
Just consider if the President sent an ambassador to another country to give that country's president a message, and that country's president thought the ambassador was the President. This would offend the President and upset the ambassador. Especially if the ambassador is carrying a personal message from the President.
And especially, in the case of Jesus, if the ambassador is carrying a message to love and serve the One who sent him. How rude is it to absolutely ignore the One who sent Jesus, when Jesus is asking us to love that Person? This is why Jesus said "I never knew you," and "away from me."
As mentioned, the verse above (Matt. 28:18-20) is mistranslated. The Greek word being translated to "authority" is ἐξουσία (exousia). This word means, according to the lexicon, "power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases" and "leave or permission." While this could justify the use of the word "authority," this could only be in the context of being given that authority (permission).
This understanding that Jesus has been given authority by the Supreme Being is confirmed by the Greek word δίδωμι (didōmi) used in Jesus' statement, which is correctly being translated to "has been given." In other words, Jesus did not assume this authority on his own. The Supreme Being - the Father - gave him this authority.
The Supreme Being maintains all authority. He innately has this authority, but may also empower his loving servants with certain authority. What Jesus is talking about is God empowering him. Jesus is being empowered by God with the authority to represent the Supreme Being.
This would be comparable to the ambassador of a country being empowered to represent his home country. This doesn't mean the ambassador can declare a war on another country. The ambassador's power is delegated to him and he must revert back to his government he represents for certain decisions. But when those decisions are made, he is given full authority to represent and execute those decisions.
Jesus is in a similar role - as God's representative.
The Supreme Being did not give up His position of authority as the Supreme Being and give it to Jesus. As Jesus said repeatedly, after his body would die and he would go to heaven (the spiritual realm) he would be with God:
"But from now on, the son of man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God." (Luke 6:6)To be someone's "right hand" person means to carry out their wishes. It means to do whatever they want. This metaphor continues today as a business owner might introduce their assistant as their "right hand man."
Besides, Jesus did not say that this "authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." The "heaven and on earth" phrase comes after "given to me." This means he is saying that the authority was given to him from heaven - his authority is coming from heaven.
Furthermore the word ἐν (en) can mean "by" as well as "in"; and the words καί (kai) and ἐπί (epi) together could be translated to "and on" but this is an odd combination. καί (kai) can mean "also, even, indeed and but" according to the lexicon, and ἐπί (epi) can also be translated to "upon, on, at, by, before; "of position, on, at, by, over, against; or "to, over, on, at, across, against."
Rather than re-arranging this sentence to indicate Jesus was proclaiming himself God, a more appropriate translation of the sentence would be:
"Certain authority given to me in heaven is also given upon the earth."A more fluid way of saying this in modern English might be:
"I am bringing the authority given to me in the spiritual realm to the physical world."We must remember that Jesus is appearing before his disciples after the death of his body. Within this context, Jesus must clarify that this mystical ability to appear before his disciples' physical eyes is coming from the Supreme Being. It is not some kind of magic power or a demoniac power. This power - authority - is from the spiritual realm and it is being granted to him by the Supreme Being.
Jesus was clarifying this in order to avoid the notion that Jesus was claiming to be the Supreme Being. He had to declare that he was not the source of his power and authority.
This is confirmed by the verse prior to this statement:
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. (Matt. 28:17)After clarifying this, Jesus then instructs his students to go out and teach to others what he has taught them:
Jesus is empowering his disciples to go out and teach and make disciples of their own. Just as Jesus was a disciple of John the Baptist, he is telling them to go out and do the same as he has done. He is instructing them to "baptize" just as Jesus baptized them, and just as John baptized Jesus, and just as John was baptized by Zechariah the priest and just as Zechariah the priest was baptized before him.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
Baptism is simply another word for the ritual of "anointing" as described in the Old Testament. It is a ritual that represents the spiritual teacher accepting a person as their disciple.
This acceptance between teacher and student is the cornerstone of spiritual growth. It proclaims that the student will learn and follow the teachings of the teacher, and then pass them on unchanged to others, according to the time and circumstance. This is precisely what Jesus did, and is requesting of his students.
Jesus says to baptize them "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." What does this mean?
The word "son" is a mistranslation. This word comes from the Greek word υἱός (huios), which, can only mean "son" - according the lexicon - "in a restricted sense, the male offspring (one born by a father and of a mother)." Is this baptism referring to a "male offspring" here? Certainly not.
This is confirmed by the lexicon, which also defines υἱός (huios) as: "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower."
What is a person who "depends on another or is his follower"? A person who depends upon another is a dependent. And a person who follows another is devoted to the wishes of that person. This can better be described as a devoted person - a devotee - or a servant. In the context of God, it can only mean a devotee of God or a servant of God.
We can see how the word υἱός (huios) is used outside of the context of a physical family elsewhere by Jesus:
Jesus replied, "The people [υἱός (huios)] of this age marry and are given in marriage." (Luke 20:34)and
"They are God's children [υἱός (huios)], since they are children [υἱός (huios)] of the resurrection." (Luke 20:36)In both of these statements by Jesus, he is using the word υἱός (huios). In the first (Luke 20:34), "The people" is translated from υἱός (huios), and in the second, "children" is also translated from υἱός (huios). The first is referring to people who are subjects - followers - of the physical world ("of this age"), while the second is referring to people who are the followers - or devotees - of God.
This is precisely how Jesus and others described himself:
1) υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, which means the devotee or servant of God (τοῦ means "of" and θεοῦ means "God")
2) υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, which means the servant of humanity.
The correctly-translated term, "servant of humanity," is a humble self-reference that has roots in the Old Testament, though it has also been mistranslated there by ecclesiastical sectarian translators from the Hebrew word בן (ben), which can also mean "son" only within the context of a physical family, but also "a member of a guild, order, class" (similar in use to "follower").
Consider David's humble self-description:
"O Lord, what is man that You care for him, the son of man [servant of humanity] that You think of him?" (Psalm 144:3)Job also humbly referred to himself as a servant of humanity when he prayed:
"how much less man, who is but a maggot - a son of man [servant of humanity], who is only a worm!" (Job 25:6)God also referred to Ezekiel as the servant of humanity no less than 60 times:
"He said to me, "son of man [servant of humanity], stand up on your feet and I will speak to you."" (Ezekiel 2:1)and
"He [God] said: "Son of man [servant of humanity], I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against Me to this very day." (Ezekiel 2:3)In this last verse, we see that God referred to Ezekiel as the servant of humanity as He was sending him to teach to the Israelites on His behalf. This is the quintessential servant of humanity: Sent by God to help (as a service to) humankind.
We also know that Jesus' followers also referred to Jesus as υἱός (huios) of David:
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Matt. 21:9)Are they really saying that Jesus is David's son? This is ridiculous, as David lived several centuries before Jesus' body was born.
But when we properly translate υἱός (huios) we can understand the reference quite clearly: Jesus was a "follower of David" or a "devotee of David" or the "servant of David." This clarifies that Jesus was devoted to David, and his teachings were in line with David's. There is a bond of devotion between Jesus and David. Jesus also comes from the same lineage of teachers as David. And because Jesus' students respected David as a great devotee of God, Jesus being David's servant or devotee was considered an exalted position to Jesus' students.
In other words, they were not exalting some sort of family status of Jesus - that his body belonged to the same family as David: They were speaking of his being part of the devotional family of David - the devotional lineage of David.
So when we translate the word υἱός (huios) within the context of Jesus telling his disciples to baptize "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," we can understand that Jesus was not referring to himself exclusively as υἱός (huios).
If Jesus wanted them to refer to him exclusively, then he would have said so. He would have told them to baptize "in the name of the Father and of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit."
But he didn't. He used the word υἱός (huios) to refer to the devotee of God - the loving servant of God - in the third person. Thus we can understand that it is a role or a position.
It is like using the word Lieutenant. Jesus is referring to not a specific person, but those who can occupy that position from time to time. This is confirmed in the Old Testament when the anointed priest was given charge to manage offerings and prayer services. The anointed priest was also given the ability to anoint (baptize) others - but did so only by the discharge of his own teacher/priest.
This is because there is a unity present between God and His loving servant/representative. It is God's loving servant/representative who introduces us to God, and escorts us back to the spiritual realm. One who becomes devoted to God under the tutelage of a spiritual teacher does not leap over the teacher to get to God. They always consider their access to God only possible through the mercy of their teacher. And it is this attitude that pleases God and gives the person access to God.
The "Holy Spirit" is how God reaches us from within to guide us. This aspect of God completes the true "Trinity" of how one can access the spiritual realm: by reaching out to God personally, God's representative, and God's expansion as the Holy Ghost.
And this is why Jesus often referred to υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ and υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου in the third person as he discussed the attributes of the loving servant of God. If he was only talking about himself he would have only used the word ἐγώ (egō), which means "I" or "me."
But Jesus was not simply referring to himself as υἱός (huios) because he recognized a lineage of exalted and devoted loving servants of God such as Moses, David, Samuel, Job, Joshua, Solomon, John the Baptist and others. He recognized them as υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ (devoted loving servants of God) as well. This is why he constantly quoted them. This is also why Jesus said about his teacher:
"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist" (Matt. 11:11)Yet ecclesiastical sectarian teachers like to ignore how Jesus' teachings reflected those teachers before him. In addition to all his other quotes, consider the following verses showing how his teachings were passed down:
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matt. 3:1-2)and after Jesus' baptism by John:
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matt. 4:17)and what Jesus taught his own disciples to also teach:
"As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.'" (Matt. 10:7)So what does 'The kingdom of heaven is near' mean? Many ecclesiastical sectarian teachers - along with so many sign-waving fanatics walking the streets - teach this means Jesus was teaching the end of the world "is near."
Does this make any sense though? Were Jesus, John the Baptist and Jesus' students all lying to people about the end of the world being upon them, when some two thousand years later the end of the world has yet to come? All of those people who heard that message are now dead. Would such a teaching, if we assume the end of the world will be tomorrow or next week or next year, do them any good?
This is a ridiculous translation of the Greek phrase, ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.
The term "near" taken from the root word ἐγγίζω (eggizō) within the sentence is not an element of time. It is an element of closeness. Consider the Lexicon's translation: "1) to bring near, to join one thing to another; 2) to draw or come near to, to approach." Does this infer time?
When ecclesiastical sectarian teachers refer to 'The kingdom of heaven is near' meaning that the end of the world is almost here, they are using the word "near" incorrectly as an element of time.
But this is not at all what the Greek sentence - this important teaching - is discussing. It is saying that we can reach the kingdom of God from within. The Supreme Being is near. We do not need to join any sect or religion or church to reach the kingdom of God. We do not need to be a certain nationality, race or sex to reach God's kingdom. We can simply reach God from within. We can reach God by turning inwards, just as Jesus stated elsewhere:
"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." (Luke 12:11-12)Indeed, most of us look for the kingdom of God as if it is "out there" somewhere. This is why people will often go traveling to "find themselves" or "find God." We are looking in the wrong place. We are seeking God within the physical dimension.
Jesus confirms this when he said:
"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)So what does "within you" mean? These physical bodies are temporary, virtual machines we utilize for a few years. They are virtual identities. They are also constantly changing, while the self within, "I" is spiritual. This is the person "within" - our spiritual selves. And next to each of us within these physical bodies is an expansion of the Supreme Being - the Holy Spirit.
We might compare our situation to getting into an automobile. The automobile is not us. We are sitting within the car and we drive it for awhile and the Supreme Being's expansion as the Holy Spirit is sitting next to us, watching - and guiding when we decide to accept His guidance.
What John the Baptist, Jesus and Jesus' disciples were trying to teach was that we can reach God's world - the spiritual realm - by looking within to our spiritual nature and seeking the Supreme Being next to each of us.
The reason we cannot see the spiritual realm or God right now is that we are looking through the wrong eyes. We are looking through our temporary physical eyes. These eyes were not designed to see the spiritual realm.
Our physical eyes cannot see the spiritual realm because these physical bodies are designed to allow us to escape the spiritual realm. We wanted to get away from our natural position as one of God's loving care-givers because we became self-centered. We wanted to enjoy life without God. So we were put into this physical dimension and given these temporary physical bodies to exert our desire for independence from Him. And now we are stuck here, identifying ourselves with these virtual identities.
We must use our spiritual eyes to see the spiritual realm. This is what Jesus is teaching.
Jesus was able to appear before his disciples after the death of his physical body because God gave him that authority. While it is typically a rule that the physical senses cannot see anything outside of physical molecules, because God is all-powerful, He can direct and empower His angels and loving servants to be able to appear in this dimension in special circumstances in order to guide us.
But most of us do not want to see the spiritual realm. Most of us want to keep pretending that this is the real world and the only reality. We want to pretend that we are these temporary identities.
This is despite the fact that we all know our physical body will die. Even though our body will die and we will have to leave behind all of our accumulated possessions such as money, land, houses, spouse, children, country and money; we still think that we own these things. We still think this body is me and this stuff is mine.
But Jesus' teachings, consistent with those of his predecessors, instruct us to to look within, to our spiritual nature within in order to perceive the Supreme Being and the spiritual realm. This is where the kingdom of God lies.
Jesus finishes by promising his students:
What does he mean by "end of the age"? Ecclesiastical (professional) sectarian teachers would have us believe that he is talking about a supposed "end of the world" scenario, now more than two thousand years later and counting.
"I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
However, the Greek phrase συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος does not indicate the end of the world. The root word αἰών (aiōn) means "for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity" according to the lexicon. And συντέλεια (synteleia) means "completion, consummation, end."
In other words, a more appropriate translation of his last statement to his disciples after he appeared to them after leaving his body is:
"And surely I am with you always, until the end of time."Still in use today, the metaphorical use of "until the end of time" means eternity. It means forever.
In other words, Jesus will be with them for eternity. This is because their relationship is spiritual. It is not dependent upon whether their physical bodies live or die. Their relationship, based upon their following the teachings lovingly given by God as He sent Jesus, and passed down through His loving servants over the centuries - binding them through to their re-entry into the spiritual realm - is tied to following a simple, profound instruction by Jesus, which reiterated the teachings of Moses:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek texts.)