Twenty-First Century Apostles
Shortly before Jesus ascended to His Father in heaven, He sent His followers out to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” He promised that He would always be with them, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).
The Book of Acts records how the Apostles began to carry out Jesus’ command. I picture a sequel to Acts which names all whom God has used as messengers from the time of the Apostles to the end of the age–including us! Jesus’ command in Matthew applies to us even though he gave it to the Apostles. We also have received orders and have been sent out as messengers.
Do you see yourself as an apostle (small “a”), a messenger sent out to tell others about Jesus? Or do you think making disciples, baptizing, and teaching is only a job for the pastor or other specially qualified people? We can’t say, as the Apostles did, that we were with Jesus “the whole time [He] went in and out among us” (Acts 1:21). However, God has called each of us to live our lives in such a way that others hear His message and seek to know Jesus. How faithfully are we obeying His command?
Who else were called apostles? See Acts 14:14 and Romans 16:7. The Greek word for apostle (apostolos) is sometimes translated “messenger” as in Philippians 2:25. Who is the messenger there?
Read Luke 10:1-24. What was the experience of the 72 people Jesus sent out to work in the “harvest” field? What was Jesus’ warning to them in verse 20? How do His words apply to us?
Read Isaiah 6:1-8. Can you respond as Isaiah did when God was seeking someone to send out with His message?
Nancy J. Baker