googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: The Greatest Apostle

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Greatest Apostle

Jesus has several disciples: perhaps hundreds or maybe even thousands. The Greek word translated as disciple is μαθητής (mathētēs) which Strong’s defines (word #3101) as, “a learner, i.e. Pupil – disciple.” Luke 6:13 says there came a time when Jesus called His disciples and chose from among them twelve men whom He also named, “Apostles.”

The word, “apostle” is the untranslated Greek word ἀπόστολος (apostolos). Though the word apostle has now made its way into English, the word originally meant, “a messenger, ambassador, or envoy.” It is literally, “he that is sent.” The cognate verb of ἀπόστολος is ἀποστέλλω (apostellō), “to send forth.” “Apostle” is an appropriate title. These were the men Christ chose to be sent out into the world with His gospel.

As I was reading in Luke the other day, I came across this interesting passage:

δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαί με δεῖ τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην.

But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent" (Luke 4:43).

ἀπεστάλην is the first person, singular, aorist, passive of ἀποστέλλω, meaning, “I was sent.” Isn’t that interesting? Jesus was sent. He was literally the first Apostle – the Apostle of God to the world! This got me to thinking about other passages where the word was used.

One very interesting passage comes from John:

ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ ἔργον τοῦ θεοῦ ἵνα πιστεύητε εἰς ὃν ἀπέστειλεν ἐκεῖνος.

Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:29

So, to do the work of God, we are to believe in that one whom God sent.

John also gave us this insightful example:

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ὕπαγε νίψαι εἰς τὴν κολυμβήθραν τοῦ Σιλωάμ ἑρμηνεύεται ἀπεσταλμένος. ἀπῆλθεν οὖν καὶ ἐνίψατο καὶ ἦλθεν βλέπων.

"Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. John 9:7

Here we have ἀπεσταλμένος, the passive, perfect, participle of ἀποστέλλω, meaning “the one having been sent.” Jesus told the blind man that, to be healed, go to the One who has been sent.

The good news is not the word of Paul, John, or Peter. It is the message of the greatest of those who were sent – Jesus. And if we want healing for our souls, we need to go to The One who was sent.

1 comment:

agaphseis said...

It would be nice if you had an "About Me" page.