Jesus and His followers

Apostle of Jesus

Apostle is one assigned for a mission: such as. a: one of an authoritative New Testament groups sent out to preach the Gospel and made up predominantly of Christ’s 12 original disciples and Paul.

What makes someone an apostle?

Administrator: Apostles clarify beginning principles and function as executives. They may preach the Gospel of redemption as led by the Holy Spirit because Jesus is the keystone of everything they do (Ephesians 2:20). They are visionaries and can recognize theological trends that would harm the Church.

Apostle of Jesus
Apostle of Jesus

What distinguish a disciple and an apostle?

While a disciple is a student who learns from a teacher, an apostle is sent to deliver those teachings to others. “Apostle” means messenger, he who is sent. An apostle is sent to provide or transfer those learning to the rest.

The twelve apostles of Jesus Christ

Apostle – means “sent”; however, in this Scripture, we see that the role of these twelve chosen ones is remarkable, the highest of men. And in this writing, we will try to understand the meaning of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and penetrate the secrets of the prophetic actions [signs] that happened to these followers of our Lord.

So, a place from Revelation 21:14. [“The wall of the city has twelve pillars, and on them are the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb”], which confirms the importance of such a device, which we discussed in this article. Next, we will discuss how important the activities of some of the apostles of Jesus Christ were; and we will try to understand the meaning and significance of some of the prophetic actions that took place with these “streams” of the Holy Spirit the patriarchs of Christianity.

The Essence of the Ministry of the Apostle of Jesus

The apostles of Jesus
The apostles of Jesus

The apostles were not just preachers of a new faith but also keepers of the Word of God. The Apostles compiled the Gospel and the Epistles of the Apostles, the entire New Testament corpus of texts. It is in it that the doctrinal theses are explained, and the moral principles of the life of a Christian are given. They organized the Church of Christ and spread the Christian doctrine among non-Jewish peoples. By their example of ascetic life, the apostles are examples of loving your neighbor and honor God.

The essence of the apostolic ministry is to convey to people the Good News, the faith of Christ. Their whole life was devoted to preaching.

How many apostles were there? In addition to the closest 12 apostles and the Apostle Paul, another 70 apostles were elected from among the followers of Jesus Christ. But they were not constantly with the Savior and were not eyewitnesses of His life. Their names are not mentioned in the Gospel; the complete list was compiled in the 5th-6th centuries.

Apostle of Jesus, the 12 Apostles – names and biographies

List of twelve apostles: Andrew, Peter, John and James (sons of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew (tax collector), Thomas, James (Alfeyev), Judas (Jacob), Simon (Canaanite), Judas (Iscariot), Matthias (instead of Judas, the traitor).

The apostles closest to the Lord were Peter, James, John.

Peter

Simon (Peter). He lived in the small town of Bethsaida on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and was engaged in fishing. One day, when Jesus was preaching near Lake Gennesaret, He saw that the fishermen had not caught anything in their nets. The Lord told Simon to sail to the depths and again throw the nets. They caught so many fish that even the boats began to sink.

Simon was seized with sacred terror, and he said:


“Get out of me, Lord! because I am a sinful person. “To which he received the answer: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” (Luke 5, 1-11).

After that, Simon’s life changed dramatically, and he turned from a fisherman into a faithful follower of Christ. The Lord gave him a second name: Peter (translated from the ancient Greek language means “stone”), which indicates firmness in faith and convictions, readiness to fight for them).

It was Peter who first named Jesus Christ and the Son of God. But at the same time, he was the first to deny the Savior when He was taken into custody. Afterward, Peter found the strength to repent, for which he was forgiven, and took the highest place among the apostles. He was executed in Rome in 68. According to tradition, he requested to be killed upside down, as he considered himself unworthy to accept torture and death in the same way as the Lord.

John and Jacob

James and John (Zebedee). Two siblings, the sons of the fisherman Zebedee, and the Peter, were the Savior’s closest disciples.
Only these three apostles saw the Transfiguration of the Lord. And only them Jesus Christ called with him when he raised the daughter of Jairus. Jacob was executed by Herod Agrippa I in 44.

The younger brother of James – John the Theologian is the author of the “Gospel of John” and the Apocalypse. Jesus Christ singled him out among all his disciples. It was to him that the words of the crucified Savior were addressed so that John would take care of the Mother of God. Like the other apostles, John was persecuted, but his martyrdom escaped him. The Apostle died a natural death at a ripe old age, at the age of over 80.

Preaching of St John the Baptist
Preaching of St John the Baptist

Andrew

Andrew, brother Peter dedicated himself to serving God and did not create his own family. Hearing that John, the Baptist was preaching about the coming of the Messiah and performing baptism on the Jordan, he left his home and went to the prophet. He is also called the First Called. He was named the first among the disciples of the Savior. One of the two who heard about Jesus from John and followed him was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.

He is the first to find his brother Simon and says:

“We have found the Messiah, which means: Christ.” (John 1: 40-41).

Preached among pagan nations. He suffered severe persecution. He was crucified in the Greek city of Patras in 67 years on an X-shaped cross, which was later named St. Andrew’s.

Simon the Cannonite

Simon the Cannonite (Zealot). According to the Church’s Tradition, at his wedding, the Savior was present with His Mother and turned water into wine. Cannonite or Zealot translated from Greek and Aramaic means “jealous”. He belonged to the political trend of the Zealots who opposed Roman rule and for the independence of Israel. He was martyred on the Black Sea coast, presumably on the territory of modern Abkhazia.

Not far from the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia, there is a cave in which, according to Legend, Simon the Cannonite lived for some time.

Jacob (junior)

Jacob (junior). Alfred’s Alfeev’s Son was a tax and tax collector – a publican (tax inspector). Little is known about his life and death. He led an ascetic, strict life. According to one version, he was martyred on the cross in Egypt.

Philip

Philip lived in Bethsaida with his wife and daughters. After the Ascension, it fell to him to preach in Greece. He was especially cruelly executed for preaching the Gospel in 80 – crucified head down.

Bartholomew

Bartholomew (Nathanael), the Savior said about him:

“Behold, truly an Israelite, in whom there is no guile.” (John 1:47).

After meeting Nathanael becomes a devoted disciple of Christ. Enlightened the peoples of Asia Minor together with the Apostle Philip, where he was persecuted and executed.

Thomas

Thomas was a brave and devoted disciple of Christ. He was the first to express his readiness to follow the Savior to Judea, despite the Pharisees’ threat of arrest and execution. When the other apostles came with the news that they had seen the Risen Savior, he doubted their words. When the Savior appeared to the apostles again, Thomas was told:

“Bring your finger here and see my hands; give your hand and put it in my ribs, and do not be a gentile, but a believer …” (John 20:27).

He preached the Good News in India and was executed there.

Matthew

Matthew (Levi) was a publican – a collector of taxes and taxes. The tax collectors were despised among their compatriots since they served the Roman procurators, betraying the Jewish people. The Lord saw in him not just a publican but a devoted man capable of great deeds. He is the compiler of the first Gospel (traditionally, the writing of the Gospel of Matthew is 41-55 years). He preached in Ethiopia, in this country, and was martyred.

Judas (Jude)

Judas (Jude) was the younger brother of Jacob, Son of Alfeyev. According to legend, he preached in Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia, was executed in Armenia.

Judas (Iscariot)

Judas Iscariot collected donations for the needs of the Savior’s disciples; he can be called the treasurer of the community of Jesus Christ’s disciples. Judas delivered the Savior to the high priests for 30 pieces of silver. Iscariot, approaching Jesus Christ, kissed him and thereby indicated who needed to be arrested. Then he belatedly repented and committed suicide. After the Ascension of Jesus Christ in his place, Matthew was chosen among the 12 apostles.

silver coins
silver coins

Matthias

Matthias, initially, he was elected among the 70 apostles, but after the betrayal of Judas, he took his place by a lot. He preached in Macedonia and western Georgia. Later he returned to Judea, where he was stoned by order of the Sanhedrin.

Peter and Paul – The Supreme Apostles

A special place among the apostles is occupied by the Apostle Paul (at birth, he was given Saul’s name, that is, “small, humble.” However, he was not one of the 12 disciples (like the apostles Luke and Mark) and was not a witness to the Savior’s life., he was a zealous admirer of the Jewish Law and, as such, took part in the persecution of the first Christians.

Martyrdom of Saint Stephen by Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari (1598-1669), undated, oil on copper - Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti
Martyrdom of Saint Stephen by Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari (1598-1669), undated, oil on copper - Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti

Although he was very young (about 13 years old), Saul was present at the stoning of the first martyr Stephen. According to one of the versions, Saul did not directly participate in the execution, and he guarded the things of Stephen. These events from the life of the Apostle Paul are described in the book “Acts of the Holy Apostles.”

But after Jesus Christ Himself appeared to him, the former persecutor of Christians believed in the Lord. Saul was baptized and devoted his whole life to preaching the Gospel, converting thousands of people to the true faith. His Apostolic Epistles are an essential part of the New Testament and are heard more often than other Epistles at the Divine Liturgy. Paul endured many sufferings for his faith and was arrested several times. He was condemned during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero – he was beheaded.

A special place in the Orthodox Church is occupied by the supreme (according to the priority of order and labors) apostles Peter and Paul. These are two completely different people, united by a typical work – the preaching of the Gospel and unshakable faith in Jesus Christ.

The 12 apostles of Jesus Christ are examples of genuine and unshakable faith. They continued to carry the Good News after the crucifixion of the Savior. They also became the first Christian martyrs who were not afraid of suffering but confessed their Teacher to the very end.


Differences Between an Apostle and A Disciple

The apostle comes from the Greek ἀπόστολος Apostolos which commonly designates an “envoy” charged with a mission, or even the accomplishment of it or the letters describing it. In the Bible Greek Septuagint, this word is applied to people.

An Apostle is one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ’s 12 original disciples and Paul.

The disciples chosen and sent out
The disciples chosen and sent out

The New Testament describes those people who follow Jesus as disciples (Acts 11:26). The term translates from the Greek word μαθητάι mathētai, which means apprentices or students (this term is sometimes used in place of disciples, e.g.

An apostle is, in the broader sense, a person who has been directly commissioned by Jesus to preach his teaching. In the biblical sense, only the twelve apostles are often meant. These are Simon Petrus, Andreas, Jakobus (2x), Johannes, Philippus, Bartholomäus, Thomas, Matthäus, Thaddäus, Simon Kananäus and Judas Iscariot.

When speaking of the disciples of Jesus, this concerns a larger group, the core of which are the twelve apostles. In the Gospel of Luke, 70 disciples are mentioned and even if this number remains unconfirmed, it can be assumed that many people accompanied Jesus on his journey. Interestingly, Jesus called women and men.

However, the priesthood of the Catholic Church is limited exclusively to men. This is justified, among other things, with the fact that the twelve apostles were exclusively male. The bishops are the direct successors of the apostles. The Pope sees himself in a tradition with Simon Peter since Jesus has given him a special leadership role.

The success of Christianity was only possible through the disciples and apostles. After the death of Jesus, they traveled the world preaching the Christian message. Many of them were executed and went down in history as martyrs.

Voluntary martyrdom became one of the most important arguments in attracting new followers in early Christianity.

Many observers were impressed by the fact that there were people who were willing to give their lives for their beliefs. The Roman Empire in particular, which already had a certain tendency towards decadence, saw itself threatened by these convicts. But the Roman emperors had no means against the Christians. People who do not fear death are not deterred by terrible punishments.

One of the less glorious consequences of getting the Christian message out into the world is proselytizing. In the name of Christianity, pagans were converted and sometimes forced to confess to Christianity. For this reason, many critics of Christianity sharply attacked Jesus’ commission to his disciples.

What Distinguished the early Apostolic Church from the modern One?

Order, organization, device. The cell structure was well established in this Church. Acts. 2:42

“And they continually dwelt in the teaching of the Apostles, the fellowship and breaking of bread, and prayer.”

Spiritual authority among the people. The Church, which numbered 100,000 people, 50% of the population of Jerusalem, had great power and weight. Acts. 2:43

“There was fear in each soul, and many miracles and signs were done through the Apostles in Jerusalem. “

Unlimited Church Growth. There was no limit to the spread of the Word of God. In a short time, the revival spread to all regions. Acts. 2:47

“Praising God and being in love with all the people. The Lord added those who were being saved to the Church every day. “

The Seal of Apostleship is seven strong, fast-growing churches in the region. Apostleship is tested by time. The Apostle takes responsibility for a country or an entire region, i.e., several countries.

The three travels of the Apostle Paul prove his love for his churches.

Apostleship is Fatherhood.

The end-time Church will be characterized by the shining manifestation of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and all the blessings of ministry, and we should be jealous of this.

In the 1930s, the Lord raised the forgotten ministry of the evangelist-healer in the United States. Today God is expanding the pastoral ministry. But in the last time, God will raise apostles and prophets. Amen.

The end-time Church is a church where the gifts of the Holy Spirit and all the skills of the ministry will work brightly, as it was in the first apostolic Church. We need to be zealous for ministry gifts to be revealed and to work.

In the 1930s in the United States, God raised the forgotten gift of the evangelist through tent and healing services. Today God will grow the ministries of prophets and apostles.

Content of the Apostolic Ministry

Apostles [from the Greek. Apostolos – “messenger, messenger”] are the closest disciples of the Savior, chosen, taught, and sent by Him to preach the Gospel and build up the Church.

From the Holy Scriptures, we know that the Lord first chose 12 apostles, then 70 more, called the Apostle Paul. The founders of the Church and its sacred hierarchy are only 12 apostles and the Apostle Paul. Using the laying on of their hands, the Holy Spirit descended (Acts 8:18; 19.6), they received God the authority to ordain bishops. Seventy apostles are messengers, messengers in the literal sense of the Word.

Their task was to teach the Word of God, and they could ordain only if they were ordained. Therefore, in this section, speaking about the apostolic feat in general, we mean only the 12 apostles and the Apostle Paul.

Apostleship is based on the ambassadorial ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and consists in the continuity with His Church: “As the Father sent me, so I send you” (John 20.21).

God the Word was sent to save the world: …

“God did not send His Son into the globe to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3.17),

Christ proclaimed what He heard from the Father “Who sent” Him (John. 12.49; 14.24). And the apostolic ministry is a continuation of this ministry, that is, part of the Divine Plan for the world’s salvation.

the Apostles
the Apostles

In connection with such a high purpose of the Christian apostleship, it becomes clear why no one can enter the apostolic ministry without a special calling from Above.

“You did not appoint me, but I chose you, that you should go and multiply, and that your seedlings should remain …” (John 15.16).

This choosiness is repeatedly emphasized in the services to the holy apostles. Hymnographers call them “Christ’s disciples of the divine denunciation”, “the chosen face of God”. “Like the Father’s throne Son, on earth is incarnate like a man, the disciples choose you, His Deity to preach to all languages”.

Therefore, the replenishment of the apostolic face after the death of Judas takes place by lot, which confirms the election of the Apostle by the Lord Himself (Acts 1.24). And that’s why St. ap. Paul emphasized that he “The Apostle, chosen not by men and not through man, but by the savior and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead” (Gal. 1.1).

The exit to the apostolic deed was preceded by a long preparation, an extended stay in communion with the Lord. This communication, this listening to His words and teachings, gave the disciples new knowledge and produced a cleansing effect in them. It was the beginning of that cleansing and renewal by the Holy Spirit, which they were honored at Pentecost.

Pentecost
Pentecost

During the Farewell Conversation, the Savior said to the apostles:

“You are already cleansed through the word that I have preached to you” (John 15.3)

Word -this is “all the teachings of the Lord, which they heard from Him, since the teachings of the Lord, accepted with faith and carried out in life, have cleansing power concerning the spiritual nature of man …

This cleansing through the word is not final, not perfect, not excluding further moral cleansing, which was accomplished by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on them … but this cleansing through the word laid, so to speak, the basis for their future perfect cleansing or purity”.

The apostles became fully prepared for their ministry only after Pentecost. The Savior spoke to them about the gift of the Holy Spirit more than once. Both before the Resurrection and before the Ascension, He made a promise to send from the Father a Comforter, who would “teach … everything and remind … everything” that Christ Himself said (John 14:26) and give them strength for the upcoming ministry: “you will receive strength when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1.8; cf. 13.3).

In the hymnography of the feast of Pentecost, you can find indications of the renewing action of the Holy Spirit on this day. So, in one of the hymns, it is said about the healing of the mind of the apostles and that, having purified, healed the reason, God makes them temples of the Holy Spirit: The essential now is infused with the Spirit of Light”.

It contains an indication of two stages in preparing the holy apostles for their exploit, two steps in the renewal of the soul – purification and enlightenment. A figurative explanation of these words of the songwriter can be found in St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninova): For the lantern to shine, there are not cleanly enough washed glasses, a candle must be lit inside it. This is what the Lord did to His disciples. Having cleansed them with the truth, He quickened them with the Holy Spirit, and they became light for men.

Receiving The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
Receiving The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

Before receiving the Holy Spirit, the apostles could not teach humanity, although they were already pure. Such a move must be made with every Christian, a Christian in reality, and not by one name: first cleansing by the truth, and then enlightenment by the Spirit (Letter 64 (52)).

Acts tell how the Holy Spirit was involved in spreading the Gospel and guiding the apostles. He chose them for this or that cause: “The Holy Spirit said: Separate me, Barnabas and Saul, for the labor to which I called them” (Acts 13.2), determined the direction of missionary travel:

“Having passed through Phrygia and the Galatian country, they were not allowed by the Holy Spirit to teach the Word in Asia. When they reached Mysia, they attempted to go to Bithynia; but the Spirit did not allow them” (Acts 16.6-7).

Thus, the apostolic ministry is both established and carried out with the participation of all Three Persons of the Holy Trinity: election from the Father and through the Son, renewal, and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit.

For their ministry, to bear fruit, the apostles were endowed with unique gifts: “Christ bestowed every abundance of good things to you, the highest of Divine gifts, to the apostle, showing you, by the righteous judgment of the Theophany, righteous is One”.

Pentecost
Pentecost

Among these gifts is the ability to comprehend Divine secrets previously inaccessible to understanding. The Holy Spirit, renewing the minds of the apostles, makes them “all-wise and theologians”, “the ignoramuses have become wise, divine wisdom”, “teach non-book wisdom, fishermen show theologians”.

The hymnography of Pentecost emphasizes that the renewing and enlightening action of the Holy Spirit (“the mysterious renewal of the mind”) gave the apostles the ability to preach the doctrine of the Holy Trinity incomprehensible to the human mind: highly-versed preaching the Intrinsic nature and the Simple, Tri-hypostatic veneration, the Benefactor of all God”.

An indication of involvement in heavenly mysteries is very often found in hymnography.

The apostle “verily learned the heavenly mysteries”, he is a “secret verbalist, “a minister of Christ’s mysteries”, “heavenly mystery man”. In the above quotations, it is easy to see the refraction of the words of St. ap. Paul:

“Therefore, everyone must understand us as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4.1).

According to patristic interpretations, Divine secrets are not only dogmatic teaching. St. Theophan the Recluse explains that here “not only the sacraments are meant, but the arrangement of the entire work of Christ on earth … not only the mysteries of teaching, but the whole economy of salvation, which includes both the teaching and the institution of the right life, and the teaching of the sanctifying Sacraments” …

The mention of the mysteries of God is also found in another place in the Epistle to the Corinthians: “We, – writes the Apostle, – … preach the wisdom of God, secret, hidden … which no one from the authorities of this age has known … And God revealed [this] to us by His Spirit” (1 Cor. 2.6-8.10).

Here, too, the secret, hidden wisdom is understood as the whole “image of the dispensation of our salvation in Christ” with all its “initial principles” and “immense consequences,” which will be reflected “in all areas of created being”. According to the review of St. John Chrysostom, the secret of this wisdom is called both because it was hidden from all created forces before its appearance and because it can only be cognized by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

The song-makers also see the very sending of the apostles to preach as mysterious, since it was also an integral part of the secret and in its entirety incomprehensible to man the utmost plan for the salvation of the world: “Spiritual apostolic face, sent to the world secretly from God the Highest”.

So, the holy apostles preached a beginningless, invisible God and could say:

“In the beginning was the Word” (John 1.1),

not being created before by angels and not having learned from people.

Jesus sending his disciples
Jesus sending his disciples

They received their knowledge from Above, having been witnesses (self-visioners) of the mysterious and incomprehensible for the human mind of the Incarnation

“Students of Stasov, the secrets of self-visions of the former, the Invisible and the beginning of the Poor, you preach, saying: in the beginning, there is the Word, do not create the Angel faster before, below you will learn from man, but from the height of Wisdom”.

For the preaching of the Gospel, the Lord endows the apostles with the gift of tongues (Acts 2.4), which, by removing linguistic barriers, will represent the future grace-filled unity of humanity in the Universal Church, as stated in the kontakion of the feast of Pentecost: “Whenever tongues of fire are distributed, all the call is to be united”…

By the effort of the Holy Spirit, the apostles get rid of fear, “from fearful people they turned into fearless confessors” – “the boldness of priyasha who were previously afraid”. For example, the Apostle Peter, before the gift of the Holy Spirit, “was terrified when only one servant-doorkeeper asked him”.

And after the fall of the Holy Spirit, “the one who could not stand the question of the weak slave, the same among the murderous people speaks with such boldness” on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2.14).

The apostles received from the Lord special authority manifested themselves in two aspects – in the shepherd’s head and miracles.

Pastoral authority was entrusted to the apostles to govern the Church. “When ap. The Lord restored Peter in his apostolic dignity; the Lord turns to him with the words: “Feed my lambs … feed my sheep” (John 21.15-17). The word “feed” means the ministry of government, the Apostle must govern the believers, just as a shepherd rules the flock”. In the pastoral authority, the apostles are likened to Christ, the Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5.4). In the proverb of the Good Shepherd, the Savior Himself pointed to Himself as the Shepherd model (John 10.11).

The exclusive right of the pastoral authority to “knit and decide” was first given to Apostle. Peter: “and I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and what you tie on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you will allow on earth will be permitted in heaven” (Matthew 16.19), and then to the rest of the disciples:

“Truly I say to you: what you bind on earth will be bound in paradise, and whatever you permit on earth will be allowed in heaven” (Matthew 18.18).

The apostles had the authority and power to perform sacred rites. Holy Scripture informs that the apostles, at the command of the Savior, performed the Sacraments of Baptism (Matthew 28.19; John 4.2; 1 Cor. 1.14.16) and the Eucharist (Acts 2.42; 20.11), ordained their successors (Acts 14:23; 2 Tim. 1.6).

The apostles made decisions that were obligatory for the members of the Church: “… it is pleasing to the Holy Spirit, and we should not lay on you any more burden than this necessary” (Acts 15:28), they could judge and punish the guilty:

“For this reason, I write this in my absence, so that in my presence I do not use severity according to the authority given to me by the Lord for building up, and not for ruin” (2 Cor. 13.10).

But, despite all these high powers of the pastoral authority, in Sts. The apostles were not alienated from ordinary members of the Church; they felt themselves to be “fathers to the Churches, which they “gave birth to in Christ” (1 Cor. 4.15)”. According to the clarification of St. John Chrysostom, with these words of the ap. Paul wanted to express the “overflow of love” that the Apostle had for his flock. And St. ap. John the Theologian in his epistles often calls the flock children (1 John 2.18; 3.7 and others) or “my children” (1 John 2.1; 3.18; 3 John 1.4).

The apostolic ministry for the dispensation of the Church on earth is, first of all, ministry by Word. The Apostle Paul speaks of the apostolic preaching as his necessary duty and the ministry entrusted to him (1 Cor. 9.16-17). “Woe to me if I don’t preach the gospel!” – he exclaims. The center of apostolic evangelism is “the word about the Cross” (1 Cor. 1.18) and the Resurrection of Christ: “if Christ does not rise, then our preaching is in vain, your belief is also in vain” (1 Cor. 15.14).

An important part of the apostolic ministry was the written recording of knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ and His teaching. As witnesses to the Word, the holy apostles compiled the inspired books collected by the Church into a single corpus of the New Testament.

From the writings of the twelve apostles, the New Testament includes the Gospel of St. Matthew, The Gospel, Three Epistles, and the Revelation of Ap. John the Theologian, the epistles of the apostles James, Jude, two epistles of the Apostle Peter. Of the writings of the seventy apostles, one Gospel belongs to St. Mark, one – ap. Luke, the Apostle Luke is also the author of the book of the Acts of the Apostles; fourteen epistles belong to ap. Paul.

The apostles preach not only by Word but by their very life, full of virtues. The success of their mission directly depends on their purity and holiness, as a likeness to the One who called them to serve. “Imitate me, as I am Christ,” called the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 4.16), thereby showing “how faithful he was in the image of Christ if he points this out to others” (St. John Chrysostom).

More than one reference to the ascetic deeds of the holy apostles, their fasts, and prayers in the New Testament. “I pacify and enslave my body, so that, while preaching to others, I do not remain unworthy.” wrote about himself to St. Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 9.27; see also Acts 1.14; 6.4; 13.2-3; 14:23 and others).

This trait of the apostles was also reflected in church hymns:

“To the first Goodness, and nature and the divine life, befit, the husband was good, in essence, and the Divine son’s grace we call, your morals goodness, and your mind are pure, Christ seemed like a sincere disciple”

,

“Have a clean mind for God in lightness, you have acquired a pure heart”.

Entire devotion to the will of God is inextricably linked with suffering for Christ and the willingness to give your life for Him. When sending his disciples to preach, the Savior said that it would be associated with sorrow and hardship:

“Beware of the people: for they will give you up to the judges and in their tabernacles, they will beat you and will lead you to the rulers and kings for Me, for testimonies before them, and the Gentiles … and all for my name will hate you, but he who tolerate to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10.17-18.22).

Christ compares the apostles with lambs among wolves (Luke 10.3), warns them that they are about to drink a cup of suffering, similar to the One that He will accept: “Can you use the cup that I will drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized? They say to Him: we can.

And he saith to them: You will drink my cup, and with the sprinkling with which I am sprinkled, you will be baptized …” (Matthew 20:22, 23). The Apostle Paul also speaks of the constant calamities that accompany his ministry:

“I die every day” (1 Cor. 15:31), that is, “all the days I am in such circumstances that death threatens me, but I do not retreat, but I surrender myself to the decision of my will for this death, and so I hold myself as one who has to die immediately”.

The apostles, wishing to be faithful to Christ even to death, crown their feat with a martyr’s death. This is how eleven of the twelve apostles ended their lives. He suffered death for Christ and St. the Apostle Paul.

Eucharist of the Apostolic time

The lack of information does not allow us to reconstruct the order of the apostolic Eucharistic assemblies completely. In this respect, one must be extremely careful not to stylize in the direction that is desirable for oneself that is not agreed upon by the writers of the New Testament books. Keep in mind the following:

  • The charismatic impulse that manifested itself immediately after the descent of the Holy Spirit in the early Christian community gave the whole structure and life of the apostolic a character of ecstasy, fusion, and exceptional mobility. There was no question of such recordings of prayers. The prayers themselves, which had as their model the blessings uttered by the Savior during the Supper, were not a departure from the usual thanksgiving of the Jews.
  • This Jewish Tradition immediately determined the character of Christian worship. It must be known that it was not broken with the Temple immediately after the founding of the New Testament Church. Traditions, both Temple and synagogue, were maintained. True, along with this, the custom of “breaking bread from house to house” immediately became a custom. But for this [breaking of bread], the ritual was more straightforward than the rite of the Passover Supper performed by the Savior. Supper was celebrated at most on Saturday, at the end of which, following the example of the Savior, the Eucharistic rite was added.
  • the ritual was more straightforward than the rite of the Passover Supper performed by the Savior. Supper was celebrated at most on Saturday, at the end of which, following the example of the Savior, the Eucharistic rite was added. The prototype for the Apostolic Eucharist was the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20), which itself was built like a Jewish supper. Consequently, the apostolic anaphora is primarily influenced by Jewish rituals. The Jerusalem community repeated, albeit not the same Passover, but still the Jewish Supper. There were both the Chalice of Blessing and the Bread of Breaking (1 Cor. 10:16).
  • But from the story of the Apostle Paul, Bishop Freer makes a correct conclusion when he notes that the Apostle was dealing not only with the Jewish influence of the Jerusalem community but also with pagan customs and ideas. Early and direct contact with the pagan world could not but leave its mark on the way of life and the structure of the liturgical life of the apostles. The pagans brought their experiences, habits, and views with them. And here two points are essential:
  • Church sacrifice is a counterbalance to pagan sacrifices. In each case, this is a real communion either with God or with demons (1 Cor. 10:21)

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