Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons. (Mark 3: 14-15)
The Greek word apostello is translated into our English word send in the above verses. And from this Greek verb, the English word apostle is derived, which simply means the sent one.
Paul referred to apostles in this manner:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ… (2 Corinthians 5:20)
for which I am an ambassador in chains… (Ephesians 6:20)
By definition, the word ambassador means a representative sent by a sovereign (person or state) to represent that sovereign with all of the power and authority of that sovereign backing him in whatever he does or says.
For example, the U. S. Ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, when he speaks to Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, he has all of the diplomatic power and authority of the U.S. government and President Barack Obama backing him. It’s as if President Obama and the U.S. government were standing before President Sarkozy and speaking personally to him.
And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent (Greek word: apostello) them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. (Luke 9: 1 -2)
The apostles understood the principle of transference of power and authority from Jesus to themselves. They had seen it work in their own lives before they were sent out on their own.
Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were) (John 4: 1 -2)
And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it. (Mark 9: 17 – 19)
The twelve apostles were trained by Jesus in a hands-on style.
Yes, they watched Him. Yes, He taught them. But even more importantly, they did not stand around with notebooks in their hands, jotting down important points here and there. Jesus used them in His work and transferred some of His power and authority to them.
So, when the twelve apostles went out on their journey, they were confident in the power and authority of the One who sent them.
(Continued in Part 15)