The Early Disciples’ Experience of the Trinity
The Trinity is not something abstract but is concrete. The early disciples had an experience on the Trinity when they live with Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew (Mt. 4: 18- 22) gives an account of the calling of Jesus’ first disciples:
18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Jesus’ call of His first disciples promises them a share in His work and entails abandonement of family and former way of life. The response of the disciples were motivated solely by Jesus’ invitation. The early disciples have the original experience when they journeyed together with Jesus as He do His ministry. The presence of the triune God can be found right at Jesus’ baptism, when the Father and the Holy Spirit attest to the sending of the incarnate Son of God. In the Gospel of Mark it is written, “And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heaven parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1: 10-11). In this gospel passage, the Son is revealed and He works in unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The early disciples have also witnessed how Jesus prayed , preached the reign of God, and they way He relate with the people and His special preference for the poor. They were also witnesses of Jesus’ paschal mystery- passion, death, ressurection. After all the things that they have seen with their own eyes, the early believers “proclaimed the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” which gives rise to the classical doctrine of the Trinity: one God in three Persons.