Posted by: mattcolvin | April 1, 2012

Apostolic Is as Apostolic Does

Monday next before Easter: John 14.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

This is a terrific passage about the apostolic character of Jesus’ relation to the Father: He fully represents Him. He does not speak on His own authority. Therefore the works that He does are those of His Father.

Verse 12 indicates the intended extension of that apostolic mission to Jesus’ disciples: they too are sent. They too are about God’s business, not their own. They too act in His name. The Trinity is the pattern for our relation to Jesus. We are caught up into His apostolic life.

This, not a chain of bishops playing “tag” over the centuries, is what the apostolicity of the Church means.

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