Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead – and all the brothers who are with me… (Gal 1:1-2)
Whenever I think about it, I’m always blown away by how much is in God’s word. It’s the preacher’s dilemma that he always discovers more in the text, and thinks about so many ways it could apply to our lives, than he could possibly communicate (unless the people are willing to sit for an hour or two)!
Think about these two verses for a moment. “Paul.” A long time could be spent thinking about Paul – who he was before Christ, his conversion, his mission. “An apostle.” We could think about the task of an apostle, his responsibilities and authority. Do we treat the words of Paul as those of an apostle with authority, or as just someone else with an opinion?
We could go on, but have you ever noticed that last phrase: “and all the brothers who are with me”? When we read through Paul’s adventures in Acts, and his letters, it’s easy to forget that the great Apostle Paul was not a lone-ranger. He had men and women with him, partnering with him, in the gospel-mission.
Throughout Acts, Paul was with Barnabas, Silas, Luke, Timothy, and many others. He constantly mentions name after name at the end of his letters. Despite his calling and the revelations he received, he worked with others to proclaim the gospel.
Gospel-ministry isn’t the responsibility of one person in the church. We’re all in this together. We’re a family, meant to encourage one another and spur one another on. Gospel-work isn’t the task of the “called one” only. So are you ready to get to work? What a privilege we all have!