Must an apostle see Jesus? This question gets raised when attempting to justify the appointment of apostles today. The word “apostle” in the Greek (apóstolos) literally means “one who is sent” or “to send off” or simply “messenger”. Therefore, while the word could be applied to any missionary or emissary, the question about requiring that an apostle see Jesus pertains to the office of apostle as conveyed in Scripture.
How Scripture answers "Is it required that an apostle see Jesus?"
It was a requirement that an apostle see Jesus.>sup>1,2,3,7. Jesus chose the men that would be by his side during his ministry known as “the twelve” or “the apostles”1,9. Not to be confused with other messengers we read about in Scripture5,8, it was an official office during Jesus’ ministry6,9 that continued after Jesus’ ascension2 and through the early church4 period.
When Judas, one of the original twelve, was replaced, we see the qualification noted that any replacement would have had seen Jesus, specifically being a witness of Jesus raised from the dead2. Later, Paul confirms this even further, affirming in the defense of his own apostleship (the office7), that he too saw the risen Jesus3 – even if it was “untimely”7.
Answer built on scripture-blocks below
Jesus chose the original twelve apostles.
Their selection for the twelfth apostle was limited to those men who were with them during Jesus’ public ministry and witnessed Him alive after His crucifixion.
Paul states his status as a legitimate apostle since he saw the Lord (presumably risen and referring to his encounter on the road to Damascus).
Apostles were an office of the early church, appointed by Jesus.
Shows the use of the Greek word (apóstolos) as simply “one who is sent”, clearly not referring to the office of apostle.
The twelve apostles held a special office with special power directly from Jesus.
Paul confirms his apostleship with the appearance of Jesus to him (even though he didn’t experience Jesus’ resurrection appearances as the others had).
Jesus was an apostle, obviously not the official office, but a special messenger of God.
Jesus appointed twelve men to a specific office for a specific task: to preach with the authority to cast out demons.
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