11th February 2017 - Josh Mackay
Barabbas was a man who lived in Jerusalem, Judea, around AD29 during the time of the Roman Empire. Barabbas was a troublemaker, a thief and a murderer. The punishment for his crimes was that he had to be crucified; which was a common punishment. This meant that he was to be nailed to a wooden cross until he would die of exhaustion and suffocation. Beyond these details, the Bible does not tell us very much about Barabbas, so the story described below is a realistic interpretation of what may have taken place. Often the Romans would force a criminal to make the cross that they were going to die on. This may have been to cause the criminal some mental suffering to go with the […]
Timothy and an apostolic administration
On his second missionary journey, Paul revisited the churches in the Galatian region to see what further grace had emerged among them. It was on this journey that he found Timothy. Recognising the grace of God that had been given to Timothy, Paul decided to take him along as a travelling companion. He began to train and mentor Timothy as part of an apostolic administration. By the time Paul undertook his third missionary journey, this apostolic administration included many men. Paul not only travelled with these men; he was also able to leave them in certain places, or send them to specific places for a period of time, to establish believers in the Christian faith and to raise up administrations.
We recall that, in the early part of his ministry, Paul personally established the believers, waited for the grace of firstfruits believers to emerge, appointed elders, and raised up administrations. However, by the end of his ministry, he had committed this work to an apostolic administration. Paul wrote to Titus, ‘For this reason I left you in Crete, that you set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you’. Paul trained and mentored an apostolic administration that was to replace him and continue its ministry for the whole of the church age.
In his letters to Timothy and Titus, we find Paul’s instructions on how this apostolic administration should function for the church age. He explained to them how to establish administrations and the qualities that they were looking for in overseers and deacons. He encouraged them not to ‘lay hands on any man too hastily’. The pattern that Paul committed to an apostolic administration was to leave room for firstfruits Christians to demonstrate, through offering, the nature of their ministry grace. He was looking for those who were approved by offering to begin serving with the ‘grace talents’ they had received from Christ. In this way, elders and deacons could be identified, and administrations established.