The word Apostle in Greek is Apostolos which means a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders. The basic understanding is that it is one sent (with specific orders). It is someone who has been directed to leave, go somewhere and do something specific. In today’s church, our closest example would be a missionary.
Here in Matthew 10 we see Jesus sending out disciples, giving them specific instructions about where to go and what to do. It is a primer for ministry. Start with your own people, “go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, 1)preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 2)Heal the sick, 3)raise the dead, 4)cleanse the lepers, 5)cast out demons. Freely you received, 6)freely give. Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts…”
With these commands we begin to see that basic ministry is one part preaching and a whole lot more parts “ministering” to people. Being a disciple / apostle of Christ means not only preaching, but going and doing. It’s not 90% teaching / preaching and 10% doing, it’s preaching, with a whole lot more reaching than anything else.
Is this what we are doing?
Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.