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.
Jesus and His disciples were being surrounded and pursued by crowds of people. They all wanted to be around Jesus because of His teachings and miraculous works. So He took His disciples aside, away from the crowds and took them up a mount to meet with and teach them specifically. As a result, we now have a discipleship primer… Discipleship 101 if you will.
“He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying“. It’s interesting because, the word “saying” here is a word that refers to continually repeating. These ideas and thoughts were not just things that Jesus said to the disciples one time. They were thoughts that were repeated over and over and over and over. These are basic lessons on what it means to understand the kingdom of heaven and how to be a disciple of Christ. These are the foundational responsibilities of discipleship. Without understanding and living out these foundational principles, a man cannot move on to the more complex aspects of ministry. Without these foundations, the reality of discipleship is nothing more than listening to some sermons, watching some miracles and going about your daily life. It is these principles and actions that separate a “crowd follower” from a disciple.
Have we made these discipleship basics the foundation to our walk in Christ, or are we just hanging around to get the free food, hear some good preaching, and see some amazing things happen? Are we here for a show, or are we here to be disciples?