Friday, September 3, 2021

Don't Miss the Connection!

Sometimes there are connections you make that are life-changing. Today I offer you this brief post as a source of inspiration and a reminder to appreciate the details of Scripture.

This morning I worked out at the Y for an hour. I also listened to a wonderful message from Acts 2 by John Stott. You are aware that the church in Acts grew by a whopping 26 times on the Day of Pentecost -- from 120 to 3,120. Luke summarizes this growth as follows (Acts 2:47b, my translation):

And the Lord kept adding to their number, day by day by day (Greek kath' hemeran), those who were being saved.

Keep in mind that the book of Acts is not simply describing the actions of the apostles and others. It is essentially the acts of Jesus. What Jesus began in his flesh (the book of Luke) he now continues in his body, the church (the book of Acts; see Acts 1:2). Obviously, from the get-go, Jesus has been very successful in accomplishing his purpose. And what was that purpose? Very simply, it's the Gospel Commission of Matt. 28:19-20, where he commands us to go and make disciples of the people from every nation on the basis of both his authority (v. 19) and his presence (v. 20). When we read verse 20 in the Greek text, we see that the normal word for "always" (Greek pantote) does not appear. 


Instead, we find pasas tas hemeras, "all the days." The idea here seems to be "daily," or, "day by day by day," as in Acts 2:27. How marvelous! Notice how the promise of Christ's daily presence here in Matthew is matched by his daily activity to grow his church in Acts. If the church is growing, it's all his doing as he fills and empowers his followers through the Holy Spirit.

Of all people, Bible translators should be aware of this connection. But even they seem to have missed it. The following versions all have "always" in Matt. 28:20: NIV, NLT, ESV, NKJV, NASB, CSB, and GNT. As far as I know, only the ISV has something that approximates the meaning of the Greek text at this point:

And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age.

Other languages seem to fare better here. My Hebrew New Testament has col-hayamim. Louis Segond has tous les jours. Schlacter has alle Tage. The Vulgate reads omnibus diebus. And the Reina Valera? Todos los dias


If you want to know what God wants you to do, obedience isn't complicated. The Lord has told you to make disciples. And he wants you to rest in his unfaltering power and experience his daily presence. The time to obey has come. Now ...

Go and make disciples!