St Tomaz Church Featured

In the New Testament, the term “apostle” occurs seventy-nine times: ten in the Gospels, twenty-eight in Acts, thirty-eight in the epistles, and three times in the book of Revelation. The English term, apostle, is derived from the Greek noun apostolos, meaning to send forth. Its primary use in the New Testament expresses the idea of dispatch, release, or dismiss, but possesses the element of commission, having the authority of and responsibility to the one who was sending. An apostle is one who is sent on a mission who possesses authority on behalf of the sender and is accountable to him.

The Gospels most generally refer to the twelve selected to be with him as “disciples”. Their primary ministry, initially, was to be with Jesus and to learn from him. But they were also known as “apostles” who were given authority to preach and cast out demons (Mark 3:14-15; 6:30). While Jesus was with them, the term “apostle” was rarely applied to them, but after the death of Christ and the experience of Pentecost, this situation changed.

Jesus called twelve disciples, which reflects the number of the tribes of Israel. An important difference existed: the basis of their leadership was not related to tribal interests, but to personal and spiritual concerns. They stood at the head of the early Church (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11) in terms of the importance of the spiritual gifts imparted to them and were secondary only to Christ as the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20; 2 Peter 3:2). Their primary duties were preaching (Acts 1:22), teaching (Acts 2:42; Eph. 3:5), and administration (Acts 4:37; Acts 6:1-6). The supernatural powers which had been evidenced among them at the day of Pentecost and soon after continued among them as evidence of divine authority upon their ministries (Acts 5:12; 2 Cor. 12:12), and the gift of the Holy Spirit was mediated through them (Acts 8:15-17).

In Western Christianity as well as the East, memorials of the lives and ministry of the apostles arose, observed on given days throughout the calendar year. These designated observances have been altered from time to time, and more contemporary dates of observance have not always been recognized. At present, memorials of the apostles are observed on the following dates:

James the Younger = (May 3)

Philip = (May 3)

Matthias = (May 14)

Paul = (June 29)

Peter = (June 29)

Thomas = (July 3)

James the Greater = (July 25)

Bartholomew = (August 24)

Matthew = (September 21)

Jude = (October 28)

Simon = (October 28)

Andrew = (November 30)

John = (December 27)

Judas Iscariot = No memorial

Series Articles

Remembering the Apostle James "The Younger"

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

James (or rather Jacobus, the Greek form of Jacob) son of Alphaeus was chosen one of the twelve apostles (Mark 3:8; Matthew 10:3; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). James, whose mother’s name was Mary (Matthew 26:56), was known as James the Less or Younger (Mark 15:40), either because he was younger than James, son of Zebedee or because he occupied a less conspicuous place among the twelve (Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10). Significant debate has been raised as to whether this James is the Lord’s brother mentioned by the Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:19), but the title of apostle given to him in the latter reference, as well as 1 Corinthians 15:7 (cf. Acts 9:27), seems decisive that James the Less was not a near relative of Christ. Apostle James The Younger Another question to be answered is his relat Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Philip

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

In the Western Church, the lives of the Apostles Philip and James "The Less" are the first to be remembered in the calendar year. The Apostle Philip was born in Bethsaida (John 1:44; 12:21) of Galilee and was instrumental in the call of Nathanael (or Bartholomew) to become a disciple of Jesus. At the time of his call to follow Christ, Philip belonged to a group who had been influenced by the ministry of John the Baptist. Together with Andrew and other fellow-townsmen, Philip had journeyed to Bethany to listen to the teachings of John the Baptist, and while there, he received his call from Jesus, "Follow me" (John 1:43). Immediately Philip found Nathanael and invited him to Christ (John 1:45). And his final inclusion within the apostolic ministry of the Twelve is confirmed in the New Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Matthias

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

Matthias was chosen by the early Church to take the place of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:18-26). Along with the Apostle Paul, Matthias was not one of the original Twelve Disciples chosen by Christ. Matthias (a contraction of Matithiah or Matthew) was among those who followed Jesus during his earthly ministry. Often it is imagined that only the twelve followed Jesus during his ministry, but upon closer examination of Scripture, it becomes evident that there often many more than the twelve. Matthias was chosen by lot over Joseph Barsabas, to be one of the apostles, supplying the vacancy left by Judas Iscariot who had committed suicide (Acts 1:23-26). It is likely, as Eusebius and Epiphanius have suggested, it is likely that he was one of the seventy disciples.Apostle Matthias Concer Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Paul

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

The Apostle Paul was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, born at Tarsus in Cilicia. He was initially a great enemy to, and persecutor of the early Christians; but after his miraculous conversion, he became a strenuous supporter of Christianity. At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas were near being stoned to death by the enraged Jews; taking the opportunity they fled to Lyconia. At Lystra, Paul was stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead. He, however, revived, and escaped to Derbe. At Philippi, Paul and Silas were imprisoned and whipped, and both were again persecuted at Thessalonica. Being afterwards taken at Jerusalem, he was sent to Caesarea, but appealed to Caesar at Rome. Here he continued a prisoner at large for two years, after which, he is believed to have been released before b Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Peter

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

The original name of the Apostle Peter was Simeon or Simon. He received the name Cephas (Aramaic Kepa—"Rock") from Jesus; the Greek translation of Kepa was Petros, hence the translation Peter. His father's name was John (John 1:42), or Jonah (Matthew 16:17), and though he was born in Bethsaida, he lived at Capernaum following his marriage. With his younger brother Andrew, Peter carried on the trade of fisherman. He was a follower of the ministry of John the Baptist, and through Andrew was introduced to Jesus (John 1:41, 42). His home was a rendezvous for the disciples of Jesus, and Peter was one of the three disciples who witnessed our Lord’s most private experiences and miracles and heard his most private speeches (Matthew 17:1, 26:37; Mark 5:37).Remembering the Apostle Peter P Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Thomas

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

The name Thomas, evidently rendered in its Greek form from the Aramaic, means the twin (John 11:16; 20:24; 21:2), and Didymus was taken from a Greek form. We are unable to say with certainty where Thomas was born, but Church tradition suggests that he was born at Antioch and had a twin-sister named Lysia. It may be that Judas was his real name, and that Thomas was a surname.Remembering the Apostle Thomas Biblical Record Concerning Thomas In the Gospel lists of the apostles, Thomas is associated with Matthew (in Matthew 10:3; Mark 3, 18; Luke 6:15) and with Philip (in Acts 1, 13). As is true of other apostles, all that we know of him is distilled from the Gospel of John, amounting to only three traits. As was true of Philip, Thomas was slow to believe, yet filled with ardent love Read more...

Remembering the Apostle James, Son of Zebedee

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

Remembering the Apostle James “James” is the name of three important figures of the New Testament: James the son of Alphaeus (also an Apostle of Christ), James the Just (brother of our Lord), and James the brother of John the Apostle and Son of Zebedee, to be consider here.Remembering the Apostle James Biblical Account James, brother of the Apostle John, is often known as “James the Great.” His mother, Salome, was a devoted follower of Jesus (Matthew 26:56; Mark 15:41). He was the older brother of the Apostle John, as is deduced from the fact that his name is almost always mentioned before John’s (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:17, etc.). Though it cannot be determined with certainty, it is likely that he became a follower of Jesus immediately following the Lord’s baptism in the Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Bartholomew

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles of Christ (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13) is generally believed to have been the same individual who is called Nathanael in John’s Gospel. The justification for this opinion is that in the first three gospels Philip and Bartholomew are constantly named together, but Nathanael is nowhere mentioned. In the fourth gospel Philip and Nathanael are mentioned in combination, but nothing is said of Bartholomew. Of the gospel writers, John uses Nathanael to describe this apostle while the other three gospels (and the Acts of the Apostles) refer to him as Bartholomew. Herbert Lockyer has harmonized this apparent discrepancy: Actually the full name of the apostle we are now considering is Nathanael Bartholomew for the consensus among th Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Matthew

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

Matthew was a common Jewish name after the Jewish exile. In the lists of the apostles, Matthew, who was also known as Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke v. 27), is coupled with Thomas (Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15). Matthew’s father’s name was Alphaeus (Mark 2:14), who should not be confused with the father of James the son of Mary, the wife of Cleophas, who was a “sister” of the mother of Jesus (John 19:25). Matthew was born at Nazareth in Galilee but resided primarily in Capernaum due to his occupation.Remembering the Apostle Matthew His Apostolic Call His call to the apostolic ministry (A.D. 27) is recorded by all three evangelists, Matthew giving the usual name (9:9) while Mark (2:14) and Luke (5:27) use the name “Levi.” Matthew’s occupation was likely the collection of dues and cus Read more...

Remembering the Apostle Andrew

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

The Apostle Andrew, the brother of St. Peter, carried the Gospel to many Asiatic nations, beginning his missionary endeavors in the Provinces of Vithynia and Pontus on the southern shores of the Black Sea. It is believed that he subsequently traveled to the City of Byzantium where he established a church. In one of his missionary tours to Achaia (Greece), Andrew visited the city of Patras where his preaching and miracles drew many to Christ, including Maximilla, the wife of the Roman Proconsul, Aegeates. The Proconsul's own brother, Stratoklis, followed the example of his sister-in-law, Maximilla, and became a Christian as well. Andrew, realizing the sincerity of his faith consecrated Stratoklis to the office of Bishop of Patras. Proconsul Aegeates was infuriated by the co Read more...

Remembering the Apostle John

Dr. Stephen Flick | April 30, 2024

The life and ministry of the Apostle John, son of Zebedee, is observed annually on December 27 by Christians in the West. St. John was distinguished as a prophet, an apostle, and an evangelist. He is known as the beloved disciple or "the disciple whom Jesus loved," and was the younger brother of James the Great. The two brothers, and sons of Zebedee, were known as the "sons of thunder." John was previously a disciple of John the Baptist, and after becoming a disciple of Jesus was not only one of the Twelve Apostles, but one of the three members of the inner circle chosen by Jesus from among the Twelve. With these three, Peter, James and John, Christ communicated his teachings more explicitly. Church tradition points to the town of Bethsaida as the place of John's birth. His mother, Sa Read more...