AND HE GAVE SOME AS APOSTLES:
kai autos edoken (3SAAI) tous men apostolous:
(Eph 4:8; 2:20; 3:5; Romans 10:14,15; 1Corinthians 12:28; Jude 1:17;
Revelation 18:20; 21:14)
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In this passage
Paul lists the five kinds of ministers which have been given by Christ
to His Church with first three of these being itinerant ministers -
apostles, prophets and evangelists - who were preaching wherever they
found an opportunity, while pastors and teachers were attached to some
congregation or location. For example, Philip was a missionary who
traveled from Jerusalem to preach in Samaria and was on the road to Gaza
when he met the eunuch whom he baptized (Acts 8:5ff, 8:26ff) then
arriving at Azotus (modern Ashdod), passing through, preaching the
gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea (Acts 8:40). One can
only conjecture that perhaps prophets preached to believers and
evangelists to unbelievers, while apostles addressed either. An apostle
was in a sense a prophet and an evangelist, but a prophet or an
evangelist was not necessarily an apostle if we take the word “apostle”
with the narrow sense of the apostles who had seen Jesus Christ in His
resurrection (1Cor 9:1).
And He gave
some - Now Paul explains how Christ sets about to attain the goal of
filling all things by giving His body gifted men to foster and further
growth. Paul is picking up his main thought from Eph 4:7-note.
Read verse 7 leaving out verses 8-10 which shows his continued
(Ep 4:7) But to each one of us grace was
given according to the measure of Christ's gift....(Ep 4:11) and He gave
some as apostles...
writes that these gifted men...
constitute what we shall call
"support gifts" (as contrasted with the "service" and "sign" gifts
previously considered, as found in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12).
These four gifts relate to the whole body of Christ, much as the major
body systems relate to the physical body...Note that each of the four
support ministries we are discussing have to do with the Word of God.
The first two--apostles and prophets--are concerned with
originating and expounding the Word, while the last two--evangelists
and pastor-teachers--are concerned with applying the Word to
individual lives. The evangelist deals with the beginning of Christian
life while the teaching pastor is involved with the development and
growth of that life. Evangelists are much like obstetricians, helping to
bring new Christians into the world. Teaching pastors are like
pediatricians, seeing that these Christians have a healthy spiritual
"diet," that their "diseases" receive proper attention, and that they
get plenty of spiritual "fresh air" and "exercise." To return to the
word picture of the church as a building, the evangelist is the
quarryman who digs out the rock, cuts it loose from quarry stone, and
hews it to a rough approximation of its ultimate size. The
pastor-teacher is the stone mason who shapes the rock, fitting it into
the building in its proper place according to the blueprint of the great
architect. ((Ray Stedman's book
[recommended], specifically the
How the Body Works)
Like several other
passages in Ephesians (Ep 1:3-14, 15-23; 2:1-7; 3:1-13, 14-19; 4:1-7;
6:14-20), Eph 4:11-16 is one long sentence in Greek.
Literally this reads "He Himself" which is emphatic. Paul is saying that
it is the Lord Jesus Himself who gives gifted men to perfect the church.
The Lord Jesus is the One who has the authority and is the One who
some... - Here Paul focuses not on individual spiritual gifts but on
gifted persons who Christ has given to the church. Notice that each of
these designations is involved in some way with the proclamation of the
Word of God (through them it is revealed, declared and taught), which
speaks to the critical importance of the "pure milk of the Word" in
growth in respect to salvation. It's as simple as "No Word, no growth".
Don't accept substitutes as they say in the advertising world!
(didomi) means He granted this based on decision of His
will and not on the merit of the recipients.
Lesson - Let us
not seek our
work for Him but instead let us seek first His Kingdom (the King) and He
will give us each our assignment in His Kingdom that we might carry out
His Kingdom work to expand His Kingdom in His power and for His glory
(cp Jn 15:5, 8, 16, 1Co 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 2Co 5:10)
Gave some as
apostles - Paul knew of what he was writing for he opens the great
letter of Romans with these words...
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus,
called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, (Ro 1:1-note)
Comment: Paul did not seek
this job. God sought him (Acts 9:4, 5, 6, 15, 16) and gave him the job
from apo = from +
stello = send forth)) signifies one sent
forth by another, often with a special commission to represent
another and to accomplish his work. It can be a delegate, commissioner,
ambassador sent out on a mission or orders or commission and with the
authority of the one who sent him. The apostolos was officially
commissioned for the position or task.
primarily used as a specific and unique title for the thirteen men (the
Twelve, with Matthias replacing Judas, and Paul) whom Christ personally
chose and commissioned to authoritatively proclaim the gospel and lead
the early church. The thirteen apostles not only were all called
directly by Jesus but all were witnesses of His resurrection, Paul
having encountered Him on the Damascus Road after His ascension. Those
thirteen apostles were given direct revelation of God’s Word to proclaim
authoritatively, the gift of healing, and the power to cast out
demons (Mt 10:1). They were even impressed with this
authority themselves, on one occasion returning back to Jesus and
telling Him how they rejoiced to discover that the demons were subject
to them. When these gifted men spoke the Word, they had authority and
that word of authority especially marked them as apostles. Andy by signs
that accompanied their ministry, their teaching authority was
verified (cf. 2Co 12:12). Thus the apostolic teachings and writings became the
foundation of the church (see below), and their authority extended beyond local bodies of
believers to the entire believing world.
80x in 79v - Matt 10:2; Mark 3:14; 6:30; Luke 6:13; 9:10; 11:49; 17:5;
22:14; 24:10; John 13:16; Acts 1:2, 26; 2:37, 42f; 4:33, 35ff; 5:2, 12,
18, 29, 40; 6:6; 8:1, 14, 18; 9:27; 11:1; 14:4, 14; 15:2, 4, 6, 22f;
16:4; Rom 1:1; 11:13; 16:7; 1 Cor 1:1; 4:9; 9:1f, 5; 12:28f; 15:7, 9; 2
Cor 1:1; 8:23; 11:5, 13; 12:11f; Gal 1:1, 17, 19; Eph 1:1; 2:20; 3:5;
4:11; Phil 2:25; Col 1:1; 1 Thess 2:7; 1 Tim 1:1; 2:7; 2 Tim 1:1, 11;
Titus 1:1; Heb 3:1; 1 Pet 1:1; 2 Pet 1:1; 3:2; Jude 1:17; Rev 2:2;
18:20; 21:14. NAS translates as - apostle(18), Apostle(1),
apostles(52), apostles'(5), messenger(1), messengers(1),one who is
Ephesians Paul related the importance of apostles and prophets
writing that God's building (composed of believing Jews and Gentiles)
built upon the foundation of
the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the
corner stone (Eph 2:20-note)
Comment: These first
apostles and prophets were foundational, and once that
foundation had been laid in the form of the NT books, there was no
longer a need for this function. And so there is are no apostles in the
sense that Paul or Peter were apostles. Some used the term "apostle" in
a secondary sense to describe those men who go out and plant churches,
but this "apostolic gift" as some have called it should in no way be
confused with the gift given to the original 13 apostles whose function
was unique and is not to be repeated. In other words there is no
so-called apostolic succession as some have mistakenly taught. To
reiterate there is no other line of truth about Jesus Christ and no new
revelation which can come to us about Him other than what the
original apostles have given.
has an explanatory note writing that
"The foundation of the church is
Jesus Christ, as Paul declared to the Corinthians, "For no other
foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus
Christ" (1Cor. 3:11), and the primary work of an apostle was to declare
the whole body of truth concerning Jesus Christ. That is the foundation.
What the apostles say about Jesus Christ is the foundation of the
church, and what they said about Jesus Christ is recorded for us in the
New Testament. That book is written by the apostles and prophets, and
the church rests squarely upon that foundation. How does one get into
the church? By believing the truth about Jesus Christ (and believing
means more than intellectual assent--it is a commitment of the will as
well). It is only as the church rests upon this foundation of the faith,
as taught by the apostles, that there is any certainty or strength.
Today many are straying from the foundation and as a result they have
lost any note of authority or assurance. Merely human view-points or
opinions do not change the foundation. Modern knowledge and the
discoveries of science will never alter it. Our ultimate concern is what
the apostles taught. That is the greatest revelation of reality we
possess, "the truth [as it] is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21-note).
People in the construction business know that a foundation is of the
utmost importance. You do not take risks or shortcuts with a foundation.
You lay it squarely, securely, and strongly, for the whole building is
going to rest on that foundation and will derive its strength from the
character of the foundation. The same is true of the church.
The Lord Jesus made very clear that if a man builds on the wrong
foundation, he is in trouble. One man may build his house on the sand
and the house may look very beautiful and impressive, but when the
storms come, it falls. Another man may build on the rock and his house
will stand in the storm. It is the foundation which makes all the
difference." (Ray Stedman's book
[recommended], specifically the
How the Body Works)
In Ephesians 3
these gifted men known, both apostles and prophets were
the recipients of God's revelation...
which in other generations was not
made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy
apostles and prophets in the Spirit (Ep 3:5-note)
times in the NT apostle
carried the broad meaning of one sent as a messenger or delegate with
instructions from a group or an individual (cf
2Cor 8:23, Php 2:25-note),
but the apostles referred to in this passage mean only those who
were apostles after the Ascension of Christ. Apostles was the
official title of the Twelve, including Paul and thus was a temporary
office. Nowhere in the Word of God do we see the teaching of apostolic
succession. To the contrary, God’s Word indicts those who lay claim to
the title of apostle as deceivers...
'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot
endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves
apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false
MacDonald writes that...
In the primary sense we no longer have apostles and prophets. Their
ministry ended when the foundation of the church was laid, and when the
NT canon was completed. We have already emphasized that Paul is
speaking here of NT prophets; they were given by Christ after His
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
The fact that the apostles and prophets were part of the
foundation [See Ep 2:20-note],
a foundation which was laid in NT times, substantiates that these
offices by virtue of their purpose have long since disappeared from the
AND SOME AS PROPHETS: tous de
from pró =
before or forth + phemí = to tell, to speak, to show, to make
known one's thoughts, to bring to light by one's speech <> Phemí
is derived from pháo = to shine) means one who speaks forth or
before (beforehand) is literally one who speaks forth (speaks openly) or
speaks before (in the sense of foretelling or predicting future events).
Marvin Vincent's expansion of this definition below). In the Bible
describes one who proclaims inspired utterances on behalf of God.
Sometimes the NT prophet was a
foreteller (declaring future events, teaching eschatology = study of
future events) but more often in the NT he was a forthteller
speaking forth divinely revealed truth for the purpose of sound
doctrinal instruction (1Ti 4:6, 2Ti 4:3-note,
with the goal to lay a foundation (Ep 2:20-note)
and build up (edify)
the body (cp 1Co 14:3, 2Co 13:10, Ep 4:12-note,
In the NT
prophetes corresponds to the person who in the OT spoke under divine
influence and inspiration. This included the foretelling future events
or the exhorting, reproving, and threatening of individuals or nations
as the ambassador of God and the interpreter of His will to men. In the
case of the OT, the prophets’ preaching was a foretelling of the
salvation yet to be accomplished in the Messiah. In the NT, prophecy was
a publication of the salvation already accomplished, insofar as it did
not concern itself with realities still future.
Unger's Bible Dictionary says a prophet is...
One who is divinely inspired to
communicate God’s will to His people and to disclose the future to them.
W E Vine says a prophet
of a divine message, denoted among the Greeks an interpreter of the
oracles of the gods.
Prophet (Parts 1 & 2) International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (scroll
down the page)
Prophet in Easton's and Smith's dictionaries
Prophet in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Prophet in Nave's Topic -(Eg,
Called Seers...Schools of...Kept the chronicles...Counselors to
Ephesians 4 prophetes
refers to those who spoke under divine influence and inspiration
foretelling future events or exhorting, reproving, and admonishing.
summarizes the uses of prophetes in the NT...
(a) of the OT prophets, e.g.,
Mt. 5:12; Mark 6:15; Lk 4:27; Jn 8:52; Ro 11:3;
(b) of prophets in general,
e.g., Mt. 10:41; 21:46; Mk 6:4;
(c) of John the Baptist, Mt.
21:26; Lk 1:76;
(d) of prophets in the churches,
e.g., Acts 13:1; 15:32; 21:10; 1Cor 12:28, 29; 14:29, 32, 37; Eph. 2:20;
(e) of Christ, as the
afore–promised Prophet, e.g., Jn 1:21; 6:14; 7:40; Acts 3:22; 7:37, or,
without the article, and, without reference to the Old Testament, Mark
6:15, Luke 7:16; in Luke 24:19 it is used with anēr, a man; John 4:19;
(f) of two witnesses yet to be
raised up for special purposes, Rev. 11:10, 18;
(g) of the Cretan poet
Epimenides, Titus 1:12;
(h) By metonymy (use of
the name of one thing [prophetes] for that of another of which it
is an attribute [eg, the book of the prophet]) prophetes
signified the writings of prophets (Acts 8:28 where "prophet"
stands for what the prophet Isaiah wrote, i.e., the prophet's book = a
metonym). Prophetes metonymically referred to the prophets
as a division of Scripture (Mt 11:13. Lk 16:16; Acts 13:15; 24:14;
Ro 3:21; Lk 16:29, 31. 24:27; Acts 28:23) Finally prophetes
metonymically was used by itself (i.e., not in phrases like "the Law and
the Prophets" or "Moses and the Prophets") as an allusion to all of the
OT Scriptures (Lk 24:25; Jn 6:45) (Vine's
says that a prophetes is...
or expounder of divine matters or concerns that could not ordinarily be
known except by special revelation...a person inspired to proclaim or reveal divine
will or purpose....Christians, who are endowed with the gift of prophecy
Acts 15:32; 1Cor 14:29, 32, 37.
Beware! Be Alert! Regarding the gift of prophecy,
it is vital to emphasize that the canon of Scripture has been completed
with John's great prayer in Revelation 22:21! There is no new
revelation! Anyone today who claims to be a prophet and to speak "new
revelation" from God is a false prophet and should be assiduously and
expeditiously avoided! In short, there are no "new" prophecies, contrary
to what some spuriously teach. (See related resource -
False Prophet in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of
"False Prophet" discussions by Dr. John MacArthur)
Lexicon (modified) discusses prophetes as it was used
to translate the Hebrew word for prophet...
Prophetes is related to
prophemi = to speak forth, speak out; hence ‘one who speaks
forth’; Prophetes is used in the
(Transliterated "nabiy" = Strong's #05030
(Nabiy' is used 85x by Jeremiah!)
= meaning spokesman, speaker, prophet - Moses was the greatest OT
"nabiy" or prophet = Moses’ prophetic message spoke to Israel of the
past (Deut 1:1-3:29), the present (Dt. 4:1; 26:18), and the future (Dt.
31:20–22) (as would every major prophet after him). ( Nabiy
is derived from the same root as نَبَأَ, meaning to divulge, make known,
announce’, therefore prophetes is equivalent to interpreter (cp
Ex. 7:1, 4:16) and hence is a spokesman for God or one through whom God
speaks or one who speaks forth by divine inspiration. The prophetes
(especially in the OT) was one raised up by God and whose charge was to
proclaim only the Word which was given to him by the Lord. A prophet
could neither contradict the Law of the Lord or speak from his own mind,
for if he did, he was functioning as a false prophet (Jer. 14:14; 23:16,
26, 30). Furthermore, when the prophet made a predictive pronouncement,
that Word had to come true, for if it did not he was a false prophet
(Dt. 18:22; Jer. 23:9). In summary, in the OT, the prophetes was either
(1) an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things or (2) a
foreteller (the related word "seer" stressed the visionary role of the
prophet - see 1Sa 9:9, 2Sa 24:11)
has an additional note on the OT use of prophetes for "seer"...
it is the
translation of the word rôeh, a seer; 1 Sam. 9:9, indicating that the
prophet was one who had immediate intercourse with God. It also
translates the word nābhî, meaning either one in whom the message from
God springs forth or one to whom anything is secretly communicated.
Hence, in general, the prophet was one upon whom the Spirit of God
rested, Numb. 11:17-29, one, to whom and through whom God speaks, Numb.
12:2; Amos 3:7, 8. In the case of the O.T. prophets their messages were
very largely the proclamation of the Divine purposes of salvation and
glory to be accomplished in the future; the prophesying of the N.T.
prophets was both a preaching of the Divine counsels of grace already
accomplished and the fore–telling of the purposes of God in the future.
commenting on prophetes in 1Cor 12:10 and Luke 7:26 explains that
the role of prophetes was not restricted to...
foretelling of the future. Quite
probably very little of this element is contemplated; but utterance
under immediate divine inspiration: delivering inspired exhortations,
instructions, or warnings.....(Ed: See next paragraph for
Vincent's more detailed discussion of prophetes). The fact of
direct inspiration distinguished prophecy from “teaching.”
note on prophetes in Lk 7:26) The popular conception
of a prophet is limited to his foretelling future events. This is indeed
included in the term, but does not cover its meaning entirely. The word
is from phemi, to speak, and pro, before, in
front of. This meaning of the preposition may have reference to time,
viz., before, beforehand; or to place, viz., in front of, and so,
publicly; and this latter meaning, in turn, easily runs into that of in
behalf of; for. The prophet is, therefore, primarily, one who speaks
standing before another, and thus forming a medium between him and the
hearer. This sense runs naturally into that of instead of. Hence
it is the technical term for the interpreter of a divine
message. So Plato:
For this reason it is customary
to appoint diviners or interpreters to be judges of the true
inspiration. Some persons call them diviners, seers
(mantes); they do not know that they are only repeaters of dark sayings
and visions, and are not to be called diviners at all, but
interpreters (propphetai) of things divine” (“Timaeus,” 72).
Similarly of an advocate to
speak for, or instead of one.
The central idea of the word
(prophetes) is, one to
whom God reveals Himself and through whom He speaks. The revelation may
or may not relate to the future.
The prophet is a forth-teller, not
necessarily a foreteller. The essence of the prophetic character is
immediate intercourse with God. One of the Hebrew names for “prophet,”
and, as some maintain, the earlier name, signified a shower or seer. See
1Sa 9:10; and in 1Cor. 14:26-30, Paul shows that revelation stands
in necessary connection with prophesying.
Stedman has the following note regarding prophets...
A prophet is essentially a man
who speaks for God, who unfolds the mind of God. In the early church,
before the New Testament was written down, prophets spoke directly by
the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, uttering the truths that are now
recorded in the New Testament. They unfolded what God taught, and thus
the body was motivated, galvanized into activity. Men such as Mark,
Luke, James, and Jude were not themselves apostles but they were
associated with the apostles in the writing of the New Testament.
The gift of a prophet differs
from that of an apostle: The apostle gives an authoritative declaration
of the whole body of truth concerning Jesus Christ; but the prophet
interprets that authoritative word and explains the truth so that it
becomes very clear, vital, and compelling. The very word "prophet"
suggests this. It derives from a Greek root (pháo) which means "to cause to
shine," and is linked with the prefix "pro" which means "before." Thus a
prophet is one who stands before and causes the word of the apostle to
"shine." (Comment: This picture of "to shine forth or
before" begs the question "Who gets the credit?" The inspired,
Are you as convicted as I am?)
This meaning of the word "prophet" is fully reflected in Peter's second
letter when he says, "We have the prophetic word made more sure. You
will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark
place" (2Pe 1:19-note). Paul also says, "He who prophesies speaks to men
for their upbuilding (edification) and encouragement and consolation" (1Cor 14:3).
The church owes much to the
ministry of prophets. Not only were parts of the Scriptures given
to us by prophets but the great theologians and preachers of the church
have been men with prophetic gifts. Men such as Martin Luther, John
Calvin, John Wesley, and the founders of other denominations have been
prophets, and many pastors and Bible teachers today have prophetic
gifts. Usually men who speak at conferences are speaking as prophets,
making the truth clear, shining, and gripping. They differ from teachers
in that the prophet tends more to deal with the great sweeping
principles of Scripture and reality, leaving the development of more
specific areas to the teacher. (from Pastor Stedman's book
[recommended], specifically the
How the Body Works - see under "2.
The Nervous System-the gift of prophets") (Bolding added)
is a list of the OT prophets who are mentioned by name in the NT (Note: not all of
these passages use the word prophetes)
Acts 3:22 quoting Dt 18:15 (Moses is mentioned some 80 times
altogether in the NT, most often in the context of the Law not as a
prophet). Jeremiah = Mt
2:17; 16:14, 27:9. Isaiah = Mt
3:3; 4:14; 8:17; Lk 3:4; Jn 1:23; 12:38, 39, 40, 41 Acts 8:28, 30,
28:25, Ro 9:27, 29, 10:16, 20, 15:12) Joel = Acts
2:16. Jonah = Mt
12:39, 40, 41, 16:4, Lk 11:29, 30, 32. Daniel = Mt 24:15.
Elisha = Lk
4:27; Samuel = Act
13:20; 3:24. David = Acts
2:30. Balaam = 2 Pt 2:16.
25% of the uses of prophetes are in Matthew's Gospel primarily
with the sense of foretelling which is not surprising as this Gospel
places great emphasis on OT prophecies that pointed to Jesus as the
expected Messiah. The first NT use of prophetes in Mt 1:22 is a
reference to Isaiah's foretelling of the Messiah's birth Isa
7:14. Mt 2:5 refers to the prophet Micah's foretelling (Mt 2:6)
of Messiah's birth in Bethlehem in Micah 5:2. Mt 2:15 refers to the
prophet Hosea's foretelling of Messiah's calling out of Egypt
(Hos 11:1) Mt 2:17 refers to Jeremiah's foretelling of the
slaying of all the male children in Bethlehem who were less than 2 years
old (Mt 2:16).
In John 1:21
after John the Baptist denied he was Elijah, the Jews asked him “Are you
the Prophet?” where the definite article ("the",
Greek = to prophetes) is in the Greek modifying "prophetes"
which signifies that this is not just any prophet but "the
specific Prophet". In
context this is an allusion to the Messianic prophecy of Moses that "God
will raise up for you a
prophet like" from among the Jews (Deut 18:15, cp Dt 18:19).
Clearly the Jewish questioners understood this as a prophecy that would
be fulfilled in the Messiah (See related resource -
Christ as Prophet). John
refers to the "Expected One" (Mt 11:31), Messiah the Prophet Who would
come into the world (an allusion to His incarnation).
The prophets received direct
revelations from the Lord and passed them on to the church for the
purpose of edification not popularity. What they
spoke by the Holy Spirit was the word of God. The prophets spoke not their own thought but what they received
from God, retaining, however, their own consciousness and
self–possession (c 2Pe 1:21-note)
Commentary writes that...
these men were both foretellers
and forthtellers. They received their message from God and delivered it
for God and to man. They had deep insight into spiritual truths as they
interpreted God’s message
under the power of the Holy Spirit. (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
- 144x in 138v - Always translated prophet (63x) or prophets
the 252 uses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint.
Note that the word "fulfill" occurs 16x in the same verse as
Below are all
the NT uses of prophetes for your observation and meditation, to
give you a sense of this great Biblical word. Remember to check the
context of the passage for the most accurate interpretation! Note also
that words in
(exception is verbs that are commands) highlight the association of
the Law and the Prophets which is a "short hand" description of the
Matthew 1:22 Now all this took
place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON,
AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD
Comment: It is quite
fascinating and no accident that 13/17 uses of the combination "prophet"
or "prophecy" and "fulfill*" in the NT are used by Matthew. Indeed, this
is another affirmation that this specific Gospel is directed to the
Jews, to those who would most familiar with the OT Scriptures concerning
the Messiah...in fact the scribes, et al knew what the Word said for
they even interpreted the prophecy in Micah 5:2 to King Herod in Mt 2:5.
It is possible (even likely?) that because the Jewish leaders knew the
OT prophecies, it follows that they knew that Jesus was the prophesied
Messiah but they did not want to give up their positions of power and
submit to the King.
John MacArthur: That
phrase gives a simple, straightforward definition of biblical
inspiration as the Word of the Lord coming through human instruments.
God does the saying; the human instrument is only a means to
bring the divine Word to men. Based on these words of the Lord given
through Matthew, the Old Testament text of Isaiah must be interpreted as
predicting the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
The phrase might be fulfilled
(18x in NAS): Mat 1:22, 2:15, 2:23, 8:17, 12:17, 13:35, 21:4, Mk 14:49,
John 12:38, 17:12, 18:9, 18:32, 19:24, 19:28, 19:36, Ro 8:4. This phrase
describes "The basic truths and happenings of the New Testament were
culminations, completions, or fulfillments of revelation God had already
made-though often the revelation had been in veiled and partial form."
Matthew 2:5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what
has been written by the prophet: 2:6‘AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF
JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU
SHALL COME FORTH A RULER,
WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.’” (Micah 5:2)
Matthew 2:15 He remained there
until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken
(exact phrase 5x = Mt 2:15, 2:17 Lk 1:45 Ro 4:18 Heb 9:19) by the Lord
through the prophet: "OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON."
Comment: This prophecy is
found in Hosea 11:1 where the context clearly indicates that it was the
whole nation of Israel which had been called out of Egypt as God's young
"son." Matthew, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, applies it to
Christ. The children of Israel had been born in the land promised to
them by God, but nevertheless had to leave it and sojourn in the pagan
land of Egypt for a while before being brought back home by their
Father. Christ lived through the same experience--born in Judea, then
sojourned in Egypt for a time before He was called back home.
Matthew 2:17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the
prophet was fulfilled: 18 18 “A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING
AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO
BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.” (Jer 31:15)
Ryrie: A quotation of Jer
31:15, which depicts the wailing at the time of Israel's exile. That
calamity and Herod's new atrocity are viewed as part of the same broad
picture. Since Matthew was writing to those with a Jewish background, he
used more quotations from the OT than the other gospel writers. There
are 93 such quotations in Matthew, 49 in Mark, 80 in Luke, and 33 in
Matthew 2:23 and came and lived
in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through
the prophets: "He shall be called a Nazarene."
Vincent: "Nazarene = A
term of contempt (compare Jn 1:46, 7:52). The very name of Nazareth
suggested insignificance. In Hebrew it meant sprout or shoot. The name
is prophetically given to the Messiah (Isaiah 11:1-note).
In Isa 10:33, 34-note,
the fate of Assyria is described under the figure of the felling of a
cedar forest. The figure of the tree is continued at the opening of
11 concerning the Jewish state. The cedar throws out no fresh suckers,
but the oak is a tree “in which, after the felling, a stock remaineth”
(Isa 6:13-note; compare Job14:9). There is a future then for Israel,
represented by the oak. “There shall come forth a shoot from the stock
of Jesse, and a twig from his roots shall bear fruit.” As David sprang
from the humble family of Jesse, so the Messiah, the second David, shall
arise out of great humiliation. The fact that Jesus grew up at Nazareth
was sufficient reason for his being despised. He was not a lofty branch
on the summit of a stately tree; not a recognized and honored son of the
royal house of David, now fallen, but an insignificant sprout from the
roots of Jesse; a Nazarene, of an upstart "sprout-town".
word "prophetes": No one prophet is mentioned, but rather "the
prophets" (plural) which is probably Matthew's way of alerting us to the
fact that he does not have a single OT text in mind.
Matthew 3:3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet
when he said, "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE READY
THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!'" (Isa 40:3)
Comment: This is a
prophecy of John the Baptist's coming as predicted by the prophet in
Isaiah 40:3 which parallels a similar OT prophecy of the his coming in
A T Robertson: This is
Matthew’s way of interpreting the mission and message of the Baptist. He
quotes Isa. 40:3 where “the prophet refers to the return of Israel from
the exile, accompanied by their God” (McNeile). He applies it to the
work of John as “a voice crying in the wilderness” for the people to
make ready the way of the Lord who is now near. He was only a voice, but
what a voice he was. He can be heard yet across the centuries.
Matthew 4:14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the
prophet: (referring to Mt 4:15, 16 quoted from Isaiah 9:1,2-
Henry Morris: (This
quote from Isaiah 9) provides the prophetic background for the name of
Emmanuel "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). Much of Jesus' early teaching
ministry was carried out in Galilee, especially Capernaum, and at least
His first six disciples came from there (Matthew 4:18-22; John 1:35-51).
= Jesus' command to continually do this) and
present imperative), for your reward in heaven is great;
for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before
Comment: Note the command
be glad is the Greek verb agalliao derived from agan =
much and hallomai = to jump; leap, spring up, and so literally
means to "jump for joy".
Beloved, next time you are persecuted
for the Lord or His Word, "jump for joy" for you have not seen the "rest
of the story!"
the Law or the
Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Matthew 5:17-note "Do not think that I came to abolish
Comment: "The Law or the
Prophets" or similar designations are in bold red here and in the
following passages to help see the repetition of this truth in the NT.
MacArthur: The Law and
the Prophets represent what we now call the Old Testament, the only
written Scripture at the time Jesus preached (see Matt. 7:12; 11:13;
22:40; Luke 16:16; John 1:45; Acts 13:15; 28:23). It is therefore about
the Old Testament that Jesus speaks in Matthew 5:17–20. Everything He
taught directly in His own ministry, as well as everything He taught
through the apostles, is based on the Old Testament. It is therefore
impossible to understand or accept the New Testament apart from the
Old....The phrase the Law and the Prophets, however, was always
understood to refer to the Jewish Scriptures themselves, not the
rabbinical interpretations. The phrase is used in that sense some
fifteen times in the New Testament (see Matt. 11:13; Luke 16:16; cf.
24:27, 44; etc.), reflecting the common Jewish understanding.
J: Matthew 1-7 Chicago: Moody Press
Matthew 7:12-note "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you
want them to treat you, for this is
the Law and the
MacArthur: The implication of
Mt 7:7–11 is made explicit in verse 12. The perfect love of the heavenly
Father is most reflected in His children when they treat others as they
themselves wish to be treated. There is no capacity within an unbeliever
to love in the way that Jesus commands here. Unbelievers can do many
ethical things, and every once in a while they might even approach the
level of this highest of ethical standards. But they cannot sustain such
selflessness, because they do not have the divine resource necessary for
regular, habitual living on that plane. (Ibid)
Matthew 8:17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the
prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR
MacArthur: Those who
claim that Christians should never be sick because there is healing in
the atonement should also claim that Christians should never die,
because Jesus also conquered death in the atonement. The central message
of the gospel is deliverance from sin. It is the good news about
forgiveness, not health. Christ was made sin, not disease, and He died
on the cross for our sin, not our sickness. As Peter makes clear.
Christ’s wounds heal us from sin, not from disease. “He Himself bore our
sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to
righteousness” (1Pet 2:24-note).
Matthew 10:41 "He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall
receive a prophet's reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the
name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
Matthew 11:9 "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell
you, and one who is more than a prophet.
Comment: John had all the
great qualities of the true prophet: "Vigorous moral conviction,
integrity, strength of will, fearless zeal for truth and righteousness"
MacArthur: John the
Baptist had developed a large and dedicated following in addition to his
disciples, and most of the people did indeed consider him to be a
prophet (Matt. 14:5; 21:26). The prophetic office began with Moses and
extended until the Babylonian captivity, after which for 400 years
Israel had no prophet until John the Baptist. He was the valedictorian
of the prophets, the most dynamic, articulate, confrontational, and
powerful spokesman God had ever called. As the last prophet, he would
not only announce that the Messiah was coming but that He had arrived.
Matthew 11:13 "For all the prophets
and the Law prophesied until John.
MacArthur: Everything from
Genesis to Malachi to John pointed to and moved toward Christ, the
Messiah. Their common theme-sometimes explicit and sometimes
implicit-was, “The Messiah is coming!” (Ibid)
Matthew 12:17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the
Morris: Matthew confirms
in Matthew 12:17-20 that the remarkable prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-3 was
fulfilled in Christ.
ISAIAH THE PROPHET
Comment: Beloved, read
the OT prophets like Isaiah to strengthen your faith as you observe how
their prophecies have been perfectly fulfilled in the past and will be
perfectly fulfilled in
the future. Prophecy is not given to make us smarter sinners but to make
us more like the Savior! Yes study prophecy, but let it "study" you (your
heart) and then go forth and live in the light of 100% accurate
fulfillment in the past which assures 100% accuracy in the future!
Hallelujah! Thank You LORD!
What an awesome God we are privileged to worship and serve...Dear
saint, if your heart needs some encouragement today, then turn off your
cell phone, your television, your computer, etc, and slowly, prayerfully
read the Word from your Father, written words yes, but GOD'S ACTUAL
WORDS, "spoken through Isaiah the prophet" and worship the LORD in
spirit and in truth. Amen...
"Remember the former things long
past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one
like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times
things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be
established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'..."I, even I,
am the LORD; and there is no Savior besides Me....Thus says the LORD,
the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first
and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me....I am the LORD, and
there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though
you have not known Me that men may know from the rising to the
setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and
there is no other...'Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No
other God.'"...For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is
the God Who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not
create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD,
and there is none else...."Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let
them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long
since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God
besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn
to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there
is no other.... Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the
earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the
hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or
as His counselor has informed Him?... Behold, the nations are like a
drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales.
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust....To whom then will you
liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him?... To whom would
you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be
alike?..."To whom then will you liken Me That I should be his equal?"
says the Holy One....Lift up your eyes on high and see Who has created
these stars, the One Who leads forth their host by number, He calls them
all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of
His power not one of them is missing....Do you not know? Have you not
heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the
earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases
power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men
stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get
tired, They will walk and not become weary....Behold, the Lord GOD will
come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with
Him, and His recompense before Him....I declared the former things long
ago And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I
acted, and they came to pass....Behold, the former things have come to
pass, Now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them
to you."....'And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes,
let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the
ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming
and the events that are going to take place.....Remember the former
things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and
there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning And from
ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will
be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'...Declare
and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has
announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I,
the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a
Savior; There is none except Me....Therefore I declared them to you long
ago, Before they took place I proclaimed them to you. I proclaim to you
new things from this time, even hidden things which you have not
known....I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. Surely My hand
founded the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call
to them, they stand together. Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O
earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the LORD has
comforted His people, and will have compassion on His
afflicted....Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands....I am the LORD your God, who
stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His
name)....The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the
nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our
God. Depart, depart, go out from there, touch nothing unclean; Go out of
the midst of her, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the
LORD....As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be
satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify
the many, as He will bear their iniquities...."No weapon that is formed
against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment
you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and
their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD. "Ho! Every one who
thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and
eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost....My
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares
the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways
higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts....Behold, the
LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; Neither is His ear so
dull that it cannot hear....Arise, shine; for your light has come, and
the glory of the LORD has risen upon you...Who is this Who comes from
Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One Who is
majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? "It
is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save....For thus says the
high and exalted One Who lives forever, Whose name is Holy, "I dwell on
a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In
order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the
contrite....Oh, that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, that
the mountains might quake at Thy presence..."I permitted Myself to be
sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found
by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here am I, here am I,' To a
nation which did not call on My name...."For behold, I create new
heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind....Thus says the LORD, "Heaven is My throne, and the
earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And
where is a place that I may rest?"...Hear
the word of the LORD, you who tremble at His word.
(Isaiah 46:9-10, 43:11, 44:6, 45:5-6, 45:14, 45:18, 45:21-22, 40:12, 13,
40:15, 40:18, 46:5 40:25, 26, 40:28-31, 40:10, 48:3, 42:9, 44:7,
46:9-10, 45:21, 48:5-6, 12, 13, 49:13, 16, 51:15, 52:10, 11, 53:11,
54:17, 55:1, 55:8, 9, 59:1, 60:1, 63:1, 57:15, 64:1, 65:1, 17, 66:1,
take a moment to worship our indescribably majestic Lord God with Robin
Mark's wonderful song
Days of Elijah)
Behold He comes riding on the
Shining like the Sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the Year of
And out of Zion's hill Salvation comes.
Matthew 12:39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation
craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of
Jonah the prophet;
Ryrie: In 16:4 and
Luke 11:29-32 the sign is the warning of judgment to come (cf. Jonah
1:2; 3:4). Here the sign is related to the death and resurrection of the
Son of Man.
Matthew 13:17 "For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous
men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what
you hear, and did not hear it.
Matthew 13:35 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "I WILL OPEN
MY MOUTH IN PARABLES; I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF
Morris: The reference is
to Psalm 78:2, which equates "parables" with "dark sayings of old." That
is, things previously kept secret from men, are to be revealed only in
Christ (Deuteronomy 29:29), and even then only to those whose hearts
were open (Matthew 13:10-17).
Matthew 13:57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A
not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household."
Comment: A proverb Jesus
applied to Himself as the Prophet ( Mt 13:57; Mk 6:4; Lk 4:24; J
Matthew 14:5 Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the
crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.
Matthew 16:14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others,
Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
Comment: Many of the Jews
took Jesus be one of the ancient prophets come to life again (cp
Mk 8:28.Lk 9:8, 19 Act 3:22, 7:37)
Matthew 21:4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the
prophet: (Mt 21:5)
Comment: Here, for the
first time publicly, Christ presented Himself to the Jews as their
promised Messiah and King (Zechariah 9:9).
Scofield: Here was the
King's final and official offer of Himself, in accord with the prophecy
of Zech 9:9. Acclaimed by an unthinking multitude whose real belief is
expressed in Mt 21:11, but with no welcome from the official
representatives of the nation, He was soon to hear the multitude shout:
"Crucify him!" (Mt 27:22,23; cp. Mark 15:13,14; Luke 23:21).
A T Robertson: The first
line is from Isa. 62:11, the rest from Zech. 9:9. John (12:14f.) makes
it clear that Jesus did not quote the passage himself. In Matthew it is
not so plain, but probably it is his own comment about the incident. It
is not Christ’s intention to fulfil the prophecy, simply that his
conduct did fulfil it.
Matthew 21:11 And the crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth
Matthew 21:26 "But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the people; for they all regard
John as a prophet."
Comment: This reference
to John is specifically John the Baptist, the herald of Jesus the
Messiah (Mt. 21:26; Mk. 6:15; 11:32; Lk. 1:76; 20:6), about whom Jesus
declared to be greater than the O T prophets, because in him the Hope of
the Jews respecting Elijah as the forerunner of the Messiah was
fulfilled (Mt. 11:9-11, 14).
Criswell: John, the
greatest of the prophets, brought the age of the Law and Prophets to an
end, but, belonging to that age, he did not participate in the personal
fellowship with the Messiah, nor in the realization of the blessings of
the present age, which Christ's kingdom has brought. Reference is not
made to the final manifestation of the glorious kingdom. This explains
why "he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
Matthew 21:46 When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they
considered Him to be a prophet.
Matthew 22:40 "On these two commandments depend
the whole Law and the
Matthew 23:29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you
build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the
Matthew 23:30 and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would
not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'
31 "So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who
murdered the prophets.
Matthew 23:34 "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and
scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you
will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,
Matthew 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who
are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together,
the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were
Matthew 24:15 "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy
place (let the reader understand),
Comment: This verse alone
from the lips of Jesus substantiates the authorship and the prophetic
accuracy of the book of Daniel, contrary to what all the "higher
critics" say! This key event in the history of Israel in particular and
the world in general marks the beginning of the last 3.5 years of
Daniel's Seventieth Week (timeline chart the last
7 years of this present age)
the casting down of Satan from heaven (Rev 12:9-note),
the beginning of God's bowl judgments (Rev 16:2-note),
the beginning of the great day, "time of Jacob's distress" (Jer 30:7,
8), the beginning of the "time of distress such as never occurred since
there was a nation until that time" (Daniel 12:1-note),
the beginning of the
(Mt 24:21, 29, Mk 13:19, 24, Rev 7:14-note)
the beginning of the evil rule of the Antichrist, whose Satanically
inspired character is now fully and finally revealed (2Th 2:3-4, 8, cp
the beginning of the end of this present age (cp Da 2:44, 45-note,
cp Mt 24:3, 28:20) and the heralding of the
to come, the One Thousand Year
Millennial Reign of Messiah on earth.
Matthew 26:56 "But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of
the prophets." Then all the disciples left Him and fled.
Matthew 27:9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was
fulfilled: "AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE
ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel;
Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "BEHOLD, I SEND MY
MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
Comment: Mark here quotes
Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3, both of which were prophesied many
centuries before the coming of John the Baptist as the forerunner of the
Morris: No other book
ever written contains specifically fulfilled prophesies such as this,
yet the Bible contains hundreds. Divine inspiration is the only
Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in
his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household."
Mark 6:15 But others were saying, "He is Elijah." And others were saying, "He
is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."
Mark 8:28 They told Him, saying, "John the Baptist; and others say
Elijah; but others, one of the prophets."
Mark 11:32 "But shall we say, 'From men '?"-- they were afraid of the
people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet.
Luke 1:70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--
prophesying under divine inspiration (Luke 1:67), said that God's holy
prophets have been predicting the coming of the Savior, not just since
man has been on the earth, but "since the world began."
Luke 1:76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you
will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS;
Luke 3:4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the
prophet, "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE READY THE WAY
OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.
Luke 4:17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He
opened the book and found the place where it was written, (See Lk 4:18,
19, 20, 21)
Luke 4:24 And He said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his
Luke 4:27 "And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the
prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
Luke 6:23 "Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward
is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the
Luke 7:16 Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying,
"A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, "God has visited His
Luke 7:26 "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and
one who is more than a prophet.
Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to
himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of
person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner."
Luke 9:8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of
the prophets of old had risen again.
Luke 9:19 They answered and said, "John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but
others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again."
Luke 10:24 for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see
the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things
which you hear, and did not hear them."
Luke 11:47 "Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it
was your fathers who killed them.
Luke 11:49 "For this reason also the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them
prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they
50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of
the world, may be charged against this generation,
note "In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the
kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.
Luke 13:33 "Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day;
for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.
34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones
those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together,
just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have
Luke 16:16 "The Law and the
Prophets were proclaimed until John; since
that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and
everyone is forcing his way into it.
Moses and the
Prophets; let them hear
Luke 16:29 "But Abraham said, 'They have
Moses and the
Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the
Luke 16:31 "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to
Luke 18:31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we
are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the
prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished.
Luke 20:6 "But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us to
death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet."
Luke 24:19 And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him,
"The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed
and word in the sight of God and all the people,
Luke 24:25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in
all that the prophets have spoken!
Moses and with all the
prophets, He explained to
them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Luke 24:27 Then beginning with
Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
Luke 24:44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while
I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in
John 1:21 They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I
am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."
John 1:23 He said, "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE
STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said."
John 1:25 They asked him, and said to him, "Why then are you baptizing, if you
are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"
Moses in the Law and also the
Prophets wrote-- Jesus of Nazareth, the
son of Joseph."
John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom
John 4:19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a
John 4:44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own
John 6:14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed,
they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
John 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF
GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
John 7:40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words,
were saying, "This certainly is the Prophet."
John 7:52 They answered him, "You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search,
and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee."
John 8:52 The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon.
Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My
word, he will never taste of death.'
53 "Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The
prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?"
John 9:17 So they said to the blind man again, "What do you say about
Him, since He opened your eyes?" And he said, "He is a prophet."
John 12:38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he
spoke: "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF
THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?"
Acts 2:16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
Acts 2:30 "And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM
WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,
Acts 3:18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of
all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
Acts 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all
things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from
22 "Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME
FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to
23 'And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall
be utterly destroyed from among the people.'
24 "And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his
successors onward, also announced these days.
25 "It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which
God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE
FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.'
Acts 7:37 "This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, 'GOD WILL
RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN.'
Acts 7:42 "But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of
heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'IT WAS NOT TO ME
THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS,
WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL?
Acts 7:48 "However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands;
as the prophet says:
Acts 7:52 "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They
killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous
One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;
Acts 8:28 and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was
reading the prophet Isaiah.
Acts 8:30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, "Do
you understand what you are reading?"
Acts 8:34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, "Please tell me, of whom does
the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?"
Acts 10:43 "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name
everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
Acts 11:27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to
Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there,
prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the
tetrarch, and Saul.
the Law and the
Prophets the synagogue officials
sent to them, saying, "Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for
the people, say it."
Acts 13:15 After the reading of
Acts 13:20 "After these things He gave them judges until Samuel the
Acts 13:27 "For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing
neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every
Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him.
Acts 13:40 "Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the
not come upon you:
Acts 15:15 "With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is
Acts 15:32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and
strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.
Acts 21:10 As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
the Law and that is written in the
Acts 24:14 "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which
they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything
that is in accordance with
and Moses said was going to take place;
Acts 26:22 "So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day
testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the
Acts 26:27 "King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do."
the Law of Moses and from the
morning until evening.
Acts 28:23 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his
lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly
testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them
concerning Jesus, from both
Acts 28:25 And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving
after Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke
through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers
Comment: Notice that this
passage clearly teaches the Divine origin (inspiration) of the
Scriptures and that the prophets were God's "vessels of honor, set
apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." (cp 2Ti
Dear follower of Christ, you may
not be a "prophet" per se, but practically you are "speaking forth" the
Gospel of Jesus Christ with you life. As Paul said you are "adorning"
the doctrine of God our Savior"
of what it means to "Adorn the doctrine of God" and then
let your "little light" shine!)
Romans 1:2-note which He promised beforehand through His prophets in
the holy Scriptures
Comment: Observe that
this is clearly a reference to the Old Testament Scriptures and again
emphasizes how important it is for
all of us as saints to saturate ourselves with the Old Testament
writings and not restrict their intake to the New Testament.
Researchers studying eye movement
during normal conversation have found that sustaining eye contact for
any length of time is difficult, if not impossible. Special cameras
reveal that what appears to be a steady gaze at someone is actually a
series of rapid scans of the face. Eye movement is essential because the
nerves in the eye need a constant change of stimulation if we are to see
properly. Studies show that if we look at the same spot continuously,
the rest of our visual field will go blank. We can experience a
similar problem in our study of the Word of God. If we "stare"
exclusively at certain biblical truths while excluding other important
doctrines, our spiritual vision will begin to blur out. Some people, for
instance, tend to look only at the love of God, or the wrath of God, or
evangelism, or church growth, or the end times, or the devil, or sin. No
matter what particular truth we are interested in, we need to be careful
lest we lose our perspective. The Bible tells us that "all Scripture
(Old and New) is given by inspiration of God" (2Ti 3:16-note)
and is profitable for our spiritual development. Only as we see the big
picture—how the many biblical doctrines fit together—will we avoid
staring at some truths and becoming blind to others. You can't enjoy the
harmony of Scripture if you play just one note of truth. (M R De Haan
God's Word was given for our good
And we are to obey;
Not choose the parts that we like best,
Then live in our own way.
Romans 3:21-note But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has
been manifested, being witnessed by
the Law and the
Romans 11:3-note "Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN
YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE."
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles,
second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings,
helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All
are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?
1 Corinthians 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others
1 Corinthians 14:32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;
1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize
that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment.
Ephesians 2:20-note having been built on the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
Ephesians 3:5-note which in other generations was not made known to the sons
of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in
Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and
some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
1 Thessalonians 2:15-note
who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They
are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men,
Titus 1:12-note One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are
always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
Comment: This is the NT
only use of prophetes to describe a polytheistic or pagan prophet.
Epimenides the highly esteemed
sixth century B.C. Greek poet and native of Crete, had characterized his
own people as the dregs of Greek culture. Elsewhere, Paul also quoted
pagan sayings (cf. Act 17:28; 1Co 15:33). This quote is directed at the
false teachers’ character.
Hebrews 1:1-note God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the
prophets in many portions and in many ways,
Hebrews 11:32-note And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I
tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the
James 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the
prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
1 Peter 1:10-note As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the
grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
2 Peter 2:16-note but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a
mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of
2 Peter 3:2-note that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the
holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your
Revelation 10:7-note but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when
he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He
preached to His servants the prophets.
Revelation 11:10-note And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them
and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these
two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 11:18-note "And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came
for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the
prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the
great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."
Revelation 16:6-note for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets,
and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it."
Revelation 18:20-note "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and
apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you
Revelation 18:24-note "And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all
who have been slain on the earth."
Revelation 22:6-note And he said to me, "These words are faithful and
true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His
angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take
Revelation 22:9-note But he said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and
of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this
book. Worship God."
- 252 verses in the non-apocryphal
Septuagint (Lxx) - Gen 20:7; Ex 7:1; Nu
11:29; 12:6; Deut 13:1, 3, 5; 18:15, 18ff, 22; 34:10; Jdg 6:8; 1 Sam
3:20f; 9:9; 10:5, 10ff; 19:20, 24; 22:5; 28:6, 15; 2 Sam 7:2; 12:1, 25;
24:11; 1Kgs 1:8, 10, 22f, 32, 34, 38, 44f; 11:29; 13:11, 18, 20, 25,
29; 16:12; 17:1; 18:4, 13, 19f, 22, 25, 29, 40; 19:1, 10, 14, 16; 20:13,
22, 35, 38, 41; 22:6f, 10, 12f, 22f; 2 Kgs 2:3, 5, 7, 15; 3:11, 13; 4:1,
38; 5:3, 8, 13, 22; 6:1, 12; 9:1, 4, 7; 10:19, 21; 14:25; 17:13, 23;
19:2; 20:1, 11, 14; 21:10; 23:2, 18; 24:2; 1Chr 10:13; 16:22; 17:1;
25:2; 26:28; 29:29; 2 Chr 9:29; 12:5, 15; 13:22; 15:8; 16:7, 10; 18:5f,
9, 11f, 21f; 19:2; 20:20; 21:12; 24:19; 25:15f; 26:22; 28:9; 29:25, 30;
32:20, 32; 35:15, 18; 36:5, 12, 15f; Ezra 5:1f; 6:14; 9:11; Neh 6:7, 14;
9:26, 30, 32; Ps 51:1; 74:9; 105:15; Isa 3:2; 9:15; 28:7; 29:10; 30:10;
37:2; 38:1; 39:3; Jer 1:5; 2:8, 26, 30; 4:9; 5:13, 31; 7:25; 8:1; 13:13;
14:13ff, 18; 18:18; 23:9, 11, 13ff, 21, 25f, 28, 30ff; 25:4; 26:5;
27:15f, 18; 28:8f; 29:15; 32:32; 35:15; 37:19; 42:2; 43:6; 44:4; 45:1;
51:59; Lam 2:9, 14, 20; 4:13; Ezek 2:5; 7:26; 13:2, 4, 9, 16; 14:4, 7,
9f; 22:28; 33:33; 38:17; Dan 9:2, 6, 10, 24; Hos 4:5; 6:5; 9:7f; 12:10,
13; Amos 2:11f; 3:7; 7:14; Mic 3:5f, 11; Hab 1:1; 3:1; Zeph 3:4; Hag
1:1, 3, 12; 2:1, 10, 20; Zech 1:1, 4ff; 7:3, 7, 12; 8:9; 13:4f;
J R Miller
"To each one his work." Some are apostles, some evangelists, some
pastors, some teachers, and some helpers only in small ways. But every
Christian has something to do.
If the smallest wheel in a watch fails to do its part, the watch stops.
If the least Christian in a church neglects his duty, the whole church
suffers. No one should ever say, "My little work will not be missed, I
am so small and weak." No one is unimportant.
The purpose of the Church is the perfecting of the saints. We all begin
as little children - only babies - but we are not to continue infants.
It is a sad home in which the baby never grows, and at four or five
years of age is a baby still. Yet there are Christians four or five
years old who are no farther on than when they were born. The work of
the Church is to stimulate the growth of each Christian and develop and
train him so that he will attain "unto a full-grown man, unto the
measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
AND SOME AS EVANGELISTS: tous de
euaggelistas, tous de poimenas kai didaskalous:
(Acts 21:8; 2Ti 4:5)
from euaggelizo = to evangelize)
(See related word
= gospel) (Evangelist) are those possessed a special gift of communicating the Gospel
in relevant terms to those who are not yet Christians. The evangelist
was (and is) primarily responsible for the numerical growth of the body
of Christ (the "obstetrician" who birthed saints through the gospel). He
was the bringer of good tidings.
An evangelist knew
the gospel narrative thoroughly and was capable of explaining it. They
were traveling or itinerant missionaries preaching the gospel to the
unconverted and calling them to repentance. It is important to note that
the purpose of evangelization is to carefully but simply help
unbelievers become aware of their sinfulness and lostness and through
the proclamation of the Gospel to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only
Savior and Lord. Any human manipulation in that process, no matter how
well intentioned, always becomes a barrier to genuine belief.
second of three NT uses)
describes a NT evangelist writing...
And on the next day we departed and
came to Caesarea; and entering the house of Philip the evangelist,
who was one of the seven,
we stayed with him. (Acts
Philip was best known for his missionary work in Samaria and with the
Ethiopian eunuch [Acts 8:5-40]. An evangelist brings the good news of
salvation to the unconverted
Pastors can also
do the work of evangelists, for we see Paul exhorting his young protégée
Timothy (in the face of men turning away their ears from the truth, and
turning aside to myths) to...
be sober in all things, endure
hardship, do the work of
an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2Ti 4:5-note)
(This is the third and final NT use)
The evangelist's task is not to go
about denouncing sin, but to point the way out of sin. The evangelist
may call people's attention to that which is creating so much misery and
heartache in their lives, but his work is not to denounce and condemn
sinners. Evangelists are no to thunder away at people, telling them what
miserable creatures they are and how God is waiting to strike them with
thunderbolts of judgment. He is not to expose the horrors of hellfire
and dangle sinners over those fires until they writhe and tremble. That
is not the calling of the evangelist!
If the preaching of "fire and brimstone" is ever called for, it is the
task of a prophet, not the task of an evangelist. The evangelist's role
is to tell people about the overpowering grace of God and the
overpowering love of a heavenly Father--a Father who calls men and women
back to Himself, offering to set their twisted lives straight through
the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.
Many Christians today possess the gift of an evangelist, both men and
women. Evangelism can be done anywhere. It is not restricted to mass
meetings, such as in the great Billy Graham crusades, though Dr.
Graham's ministry is also true evangelism. The gift of an evangelist can
he exercised toward a single individual, as is clear in the book of Acts
when Philip the evangelist spoke to the Ethiopian eunuch as he was
riding along in a chariot and told him of the saving grace of Jesus
Christ. (Ray Stedman's book
[recommended], specifically the
How the Body Works)
AND SOME AS PASTORS AND TEACHERS:
tous de poimenas kai didaskalous: (2Chronicles
15:3; Jeremiah 3:15; Matthew 28:20; Acts 13:1; Romans 12:7; 1Corinthians
12:29; Hebrews 5:12; 1Pe 5:1, 2, 3)
teachers - The two nouns are connected in Greek by kai which often
has the meaning "that is" or "in particular" and thus many feel
this conjunction connects the pastors (shepherds) and teachers in a way
that speaks of a single entity of teaching shepherds ("Pastor-Teachers").
An additional piece of evidence supporting this distinction is that the
and (kai) differs from the other “and’s” (de) in this
verse. All pastors teach (since teaching is an essential part of
pastoral ministry), but not all teachers are pastors. The latter
exercise their leadership role by feeding God’s flock with His word.
Some interpreters have understood the
phrase pastors and teachers to refer to one and the same group. This
would mean that all pastors are teachers and that all teachers are
pastors. This position is often taken because it is recognized that both
nouns (i.e., pastors and teachers) are governed by one article in Greek.
But because the nouns are plural, it is extremely unlikely that they
refer to the same group, but only that the author is linking them
closely together. It is better to regard the pastors as a subset of
teachers. In other words, all pastors are teachers, but not all teachers
The omission of the article from
teachers seems to indicate that pastors and teachers are included under
has an interesting comment on pastors writing...
The pastors of the churches are not
to exercise their authority as bosses but as examples. When they
themselves obey the Word, others will be motivated to follow. But if the
teaching pastors do not practice what they preach, they have no other
authority. Their authority derives from their spirituality, and if they
lose their spirituality they also lose their authority. It is not the
office that gives a pastor the right to rule--it is the individual and
his gift before God. (from Pastor Stedman's book Body Life and
the chapter entitled
How the Body Works)
(poimen) (Pastor) is related to the word poimne, a flock of sheep,
and literally is one who herds sheep and tends flocks as a shepherd.
Metaphorically poimen refers to one who performs functions including feeding, oversight, protection, leading,
Pastors translates poimen,
whose normal meaning is shepherd, It emphasizes the care, protection and
leadership of the man of God for the flock. Teachers (didaskaloi) has to
do with the primary function of pastors.
The image of a shepherd with his
flock pictures the relation of a spiritual leader to those committed
to his charge.
18x in 17v - Matt 9:36; 25:32; 26:31; Mark 6:34; 14:27; Luke 2:8, 15,
18, 20; John 10:2, 11f, 14, 16; Eph 4:11; Heb 13:20; 1Pet 2:25. NAS
translates as pastors(1), shepherd(11), Shepherd(2), shepherds(4).
use of poimen is instructive recording that Jesus...
seeing the multitudes, He felt
compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like
sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
It is interesting
to observe in the parallel passage in Mark how Jesus responded to the
distressed, downcast flock...
And when He went ashore, He saw a
great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like
sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.
Comment: The antidote for distressed, downcast sheep is
the word of God.
What does this
verse imply was the flock's greatest need?
Is there a message for pastors today?
Remember Jesus' words to the one on whom He stated He would build His
He said to him the
third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love (phileo) Me?" Peter was
grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love (phileo)
Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I
love (phileo) You." Jesus said to him, "Tend (bosko = feed; present
Command to continually feed, graze, tend, herd) My
sheep. (John 21:17KJV)
The parallel passages in KJV read "Feed (bosko = feed; present
Command to continually feed, graze, tend, herd) My lambs" John 21:15KJV
and "Feed My sheep"
(poimaino - present
Command calling for continual feeding - no food = "shabby sheep", easy
prey for the "wolves"!) in John 21:16KJV.
from First Peter-recommended
resource) in his comments
on pastor in 1Peter 5 emphasizes that...
The church needs the preaching of
God's Word if it is to be nourished and strengthened. Most men fail to
do this today because preaching the Word demands preparation, and that
is hard work. It takes time to study but many men are too lazy to do
this. The story is told of one pastor who never prepared during the
week, and on Sunday morning he'd sit on the platform while the church
was singing the hymns desperately praying, "Lord, give your message,
Lord give me your message." One Sunday, while desperately praying for
God's message, he heard the Lord say, "Ralph, here's my message. You're
lazy!" Beloved, the Bible repeatedly urges us to study God's Word and
preach its truths. (2Ti 2:15, 1Ti 4:6 1Ti 4:12 Act 20:27)
In his book Be Free, Warren
W. Wiersbe mentioned the fact that young ministers often visited the
great British preacher G. Campbell Morgan to ask him the secret of his
success. When someone inquired of him what he told these aspiring
pastors, Morgan replied, "I always say to them the same thing—work; hard
work; and again, work!" And Morgan lived up to his own advice. He would
be in his study every morning at 6 o'clock, finding rich treasures out
of his Bible to pass on to God's people. May we learn from his example!
Caring for a church family involves a
balance of "ruling" the church with "serving" it. The pastor is the
leader, but also a servant. This balancing act is not easy and requires
help from the Lord for sure. You have to have wisdom on knowing when to
be firm and when to yield to the ideas or needs of others. It is the
same situation that you have with your wife and children, at least it is
for me. There are times to be firm as a father and husband, and there
are times I yield to the desires of my wife or children. It depends on
the issue and how much money I have left in the bank. Ha!
Staying in the Word of God so that
you can nourish your people and yourself will help you to have the
wisdom you need to pastor your people and to maintain a Christlike
attitude in your life. It's when we lose that Christ-like attitude that
we get ourselves into trouble by creating problems of our own making....
Howard Hendricks said, "If you
can't stand the smell of sheep, you shouldn't be a shepherd." The pastor
also needs to be "over" his people so he can lead them and help them
solve their problems....
All of these reasons, and many
others, are why Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "A man should only enter
the Christian ministry if he cannot stay out of it."....
Consider the following sobering
survey results of the personal and professional lives of pastors as
recorded in the 1991 Survey of Pastors, Fuller Institute of Church
• * 90% of pastors work more than 46
hours a week.
• * 75% reported a significant stress-related crisis at least once in
• * 50% felt unable to meet the needs of the job.
• * 90% felt they were inadequately trained to cope with ministry
• * 70% say they have a lower self-esteem now than when they started
• * 40% reported a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a
• * 37% confessed having been involved in inappropriate sexual behavior
with someone in the church.
• * 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
• * 80% believed that pastoral ministry affected their families
• * 33% said that being in ministry was an outright hazard to their
Paul's warning to the Ephesian elders...
on guard (present
Command calling for continual alertness - note order =  your own
heart [!] dear pastor/elder and  then you are prepared to tend the "flock") for
yourselves (watch over you own heart with all diligence for from
it flow the springs of life cp Pr 4:23-note) and for all the flock, (the local
church is like a flock of sheep) among which the Holy Spirit has made
you overseers, to shepherd (tend flocks like a shepherd) the church of
God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my
departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse
things, to draw away the disciples after them." (Acts 20:28, 29, 30)
Sheep need to
graze continually in the pasture of the Word of God, the pure Word, the
Word of Truth and nothing but the Truth, sound doctrine, solid food.
Anything else is chaff. The Word of God is the local church’s protection
and provision, and no amount of entertainment, good fellowship, or other
religious substitutes can take its place. Pastors, I think Jesus is
saying to shepherds of the modern church in America "Feed My sheep!" How
will He one day assess the quality of the spiritual food you have fed to
Jesus is the Great
Shepherd Who vigilantly watches over and provides for the welfare of His
Now the God of peace, who brought up
from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the
eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to
do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through
Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews
You were continually straying like
sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your
souls. (1Pe 2:25-note)
Barclay comments that...
Pastor is the Latin word for a
shepherd. At this time the Christian Church was no more than a little
island in a sea of paganism. The people who came into it were only one
remove from their heathen lives; they were in constant danger of
relapsing into heathenism; and the duty of the pastor was to shepherd
his flock and keep them safe. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster
= teach to shape will of one being taught by content of what is taught)
is an instructor, master, teacher, the one who provides instruction and
is used 41 (out of 58 NT uses) of Jesus! Teachers are are divinely
empowered to explain what the Bible says, interpret what it means, and
apply it to the hearts and consciences of the saints. Teachers did not
simply impart information or open up new ways of thought. They also
urged their hearers to live by what they taught.
So vital is the
ministry of teaching to make disciples that Paul exhorted his young
the things which you have heard from
me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust (paratithemi)
to faithful (trustworthy =
pistos) men, who will be
able (hikanos) to teach (ko) others also. (2Ti
Jesus' final command to His
followers, His disciples, was to...
Go therefore and
= "Just do it!"
It is urgent! This is a "wartime" command from the Captain of the
Hosts!) of all the nations (Mt 28:19a)
In 2Timothy 2:2 Paul presents
God's pattern for fulfilling Jesus' Great Commission in Mt 28:19.
How many "generations" do
you observe in this single verse. (Stop
and re-read 2Ti 2:2)? Paul
to Timothy to faithful (trustworthy) men to "others also". Four
Dear runner in this "once
in a lifetime" race,
please don't drop the baton!
PASS IT ON!
Dear mature believer, this verse
begs the serious question - Who are you discipling?
For mothers this certainly would
include their children as one of the most important discipling
ministries they will ever carry out. Witness the impact of
Susannah Wesley's (you must read her
brief bio!) disciples! One was named John. Another named
Charles! Point made!.
I am in my late 60's now (November,
2011) and don't have that many years left to make disciples, but that is
the clarion call on my life and on all who call themselves Christ
followers (Remember that Mt 28:19 is our Lord's command, not His
suggestion!). If you are a man or woman who has walked with Christ for
10 or 20 years and you are in your later years, are you wasting your
walk? (See John Piper's excellent exhortative online book
Don't Waste Your Life)
That is, are you failing to intentionally pass on what you have learned
through the "blood, sweat and tears" of your growth in godliness and
Christ-likeness? I want to challenge any mature man reading these notes
to prayerfully consider praying for younger men whom you can disciple.
When I say disciple, I am not talking about reading a popular Christian
book and going through the study guide (not that that is wrong), but
that you maximize your efforts by taking a small group of faithful men
through a book of the Bible, verse by verse, seeking to teach them how
to study the Bible for themselves (See
Inductive Bible study),
teaching them "how to fish" rather than just giving them fish! And then
challenge them to pray for one or two men who they could pass on what
they have learned. Remember Paul qualifies his charge with the phrase
"faithful" men, men who are trustworthy, men who are serious about
commitment, men who will agree to study during the week, men who will be
willing to memorize Scriptures with you, and finally men who agree to
find other faithful men to disciple. This is the the Jesus' Way of
making disciples. Where are the mature believing men and women in their
50's and 60's (and older) who are willing to count the cost and disciple
the next generation of men and women in their 20's, 30's and 40's (who
are in desperate need of discipling!)? For the most part they don't
exist, a "void" which I often refer to as "a great evangelical
disaster!" May God's Spirit stir your heart and enable you will to obey
Jesus' command to "Make disciples" (Mt 28:19) for the sake of His
Kingdom and the glory of His Name. Amen.
A suggestion to help you begin
discipling - Here is
resource you can use to "make disciples" (but I will warn you it will
challenge you in a way you likely have never been challenged) -
Being a Disciple Counting the Real
Cost (40-Minute Bible Study)
The 40 minute studies (there are now more than 20 topics
available - here is a great one for men which I have personally seen God
use mightily in men's lives -
A Man's Strategy for Conquering
Temptations) are self contained resources which are based
predominantly on the "pure milk of the Word". You even do the lessons
together (thus there are no excuses for not doing the lesson). I usually
supplement the material with additional verses, so that it takes longer
than 40 minutes, but it can be done in that allotted time. Challenge the
men to be diligent to take notes as you discuss the questions, so that
when they finish the 6 week study they will have a built in resource
that they can then take and use to disciple other faithful men. I can
assure you that this motif works as I have used it for some time now.
Related Resources on Making
Disciples of all the Nations:
The Training of the Twelve by A B
some of the reviews!)
the Foreword to this Classic Work on Discipleship)
The Master Plan of Evangelism by
Robert E. Coleman (read some of the reviews!)
- This modern classic
discusses "Jesus' Master Plan of Discipleship"
- 59x in 58v - Mt
8:19; 9:11; 10:24, 25; 12:38; 17:24; 19:16; 22:16, 24, 36; 23:8; 26:18;
Mark 4:38; 5:35; 9:17, 38; 10:17, 20, 35; 12:14, 19, 32; 13:1; 14:14;
Luke 2:46; 3:12; 6:40; 7:40; 8:49; 9:38; 10:25; 11:45; 12:13; 18:18;
19:39; 20:21, 28, 39; 21:7; 22:11; John 1:38; 3:2, 10; 8:4; 11:28;
13:13f; 20:16; Acts 13:1; Ro 2:20; 1Cor 12:28f; Eph 4:11; 1Tim 2:7; 2Ti 1:11; 4:3; Heb 5:12; Jas 3:1. Always translated teacher.
adds this caution...
One final word. We should be careful
to distinguish between divine gifts and natural talents. No unsaved
person, however talented, could be an evangelist, pastor, or teacher in
the NT sense. Neither could a Christian, for that matter, unless he
has received that particular gift. The gifts of the Spirit are
supernatural. They enable a man to do what would be humanly impossible
for him. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
has written that...
“Nothing is more necessary for the
building up of God’s church in every age than an ample supply of
God-gifted teachers. … It is teaching which builds up the
church. It is teachers who are needed most.” (John R. W. Stott, God’s
New Society: The Message of Ephesians)
A new student once asked a College
president if he didn't have a shorter course to offer. The man of
learning replied: "That depends upon what you want to make of yourself.
When God makes an oak, He takes a century. When he makes a squash, three
months will do." One reason why the Churches of our country have so many
squashes and so few oaks in their pulpits and in the mission fields,
lies right here. In this pell-mell, hurry-up-and-get-there age in which
we are living, few young men and women have the grit to resist the
spirit of the age. Few have the determination and perseverance necessary
to send them to the top. In their impatience, they make squashes out of
themselves-and, O, how the Church needs oaks! (Note when this was
written -- Jan, 1935!)
Vance Havner in his pithy,
penetrating style comments on Ephesians 4:11-12...
"Every Christian is commissioned, for
every Christian is a missionary. It has been said that the Gospel is not
merely something to come to church to hear but something to go from the
church to tell—and we are all appointed to tell it. It has also been
said, ‘Christianity began as a company of lay witnesses; it has become a
professional pulpitism, financed by lay spectators!’ Nowadays we hire a
church staff to do ‘full-time Christian work,’ and we sit in church on
Sunday to watch them do it. Every Christian is meant to be in full-time
Christian service ... There is indeed a special ministry of pastors,
teachers and evangelists—but for what? ... For the perfecting of the
saints for their ministry."
Handyman Genius -Ephesians 4:11-16 -
My father-in-law Pete is a
genius. No, he didn't develop any scientific theories like Einstein did.
His genius is that of a handyman. Just ask him about an ailing furnace
or a clogged garbage disposal. He can intuitively diagnose the problem
and come up with a solution. When my in-laws visit, it looks like a home
repair TV show. I often take notes. In many ways, as I watch Pete, I am
equipped to do the repairs on my own.
In the church, there are spiritual leaders whose job it is to equip us
for ministry. In Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, he wrote about
equipping the people for service (Ep 4:11,12). The word used here for
"equip" is the same one used to describe the disciples' mending of their
nets when Jesus called them into service (Mark 1:16, 17, 18, 19, 20).
For 3 years, Jesus "mended holes" in their "ministry nets" so they could
be effective fishers of men (Mk 1:17).
If you don't know how to get started in finding and participating in a
ministry, watch for people who can show you how it's done. Observe the
way they use the Bible, pray, and work with people. Soon you will find
that the Lord is using you more effectively in the lives of others. All
you need is to be equipped. —Dennis Fisher
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
By God's design,
there lies in wait for you
Important work that no one else can do.
Just as the planets find their paths through space,
You too must grow to fill your proper place. —Thayer
Are you following the right leader?
Sitting in the Stands - Ephesians 4:11-16
A well-known coach was once asked,
“How much does college football contribute to the national
“Nothing,” the coach replied abruptly.
“Why not?” the startled interviewer asked.
“Well,” said the coach, “the way I see it, you have 22 men down on
the field desperately needing a rest and 40,000 people in the stands,
desperately needing some exercise.”
A similar situation exists in many churches today. When you compare the
members who actively participate, you often find a rather pathetic
situation. It’s not unusual to have a small group of diligent Christian
workers struggling “down on the field” while others in the
congregation are acting like spectators, “sitting on the sidelines,
eating hot dogs and popcorn.”
God’s strategy for the accomplishment of His program is not like a
sports event. It does not call for the job to be done only by the
“professionals.” In the game of life, all believers have their own
positions and spiritual gifts that they must exercise “for the profit
of all” (1Co 12:7).
My friend, if you’ve been sitting in the stands, you’re badly needed
down on the field! - M R De Haan II
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
God calls into action today
All those who are children of light;
Whatever our hand finds to do,
Let’s do it with all of our might. - Hess
Christians should be on the frontlines,Not the sidelines!