Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we not have a right to eat and drink? Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas [i.e. Peter]?
– 1 Corinthians 9:1-5 (Paul writing)
This may strike you as a strange passage to use for a “daily devotion to Jesus Christ.” The last few days of posts, however, are intended to ground you in the source of our devotion to Jesus Christ: the apostles’ writings (what is called “The New Testament”). Better appreciation of our primary source of information about Christ will help you protect and grow your faith in Christ.
Here are the authors of the 27 texts that comprise the New Testament:
- Matthew – by Matthew, one of the original twelve apostles
- Mark – by Mark, a helper of the apostle Peter
- Luke – by Luke, a helper of the apostle Paul
- John – by John, one of the original twelve apostles
- Acts – by Luke (same as above)
- James – by James, a brother of Jesus and Jude
- 1 & 2 Peter – by Peter
- 1 & 2 & 3 John – by John (same as above)
- Jude – by Jude, a brother of Jesus and James
- Revelation – by John (same as above)
- The other 14 epistles (letters) – by Paul
While Paul was every bit as Jewish as the other apostles – he, in fact, had been a Pharisee – he was unique in that while the other apostles were sent around the world to fellow Jews, Paul was sent to Gentiles.
Of all the New Testament authors, only Luke – Paul’s helper – was a Gentile. For his gospel, Luke pulled together various individual eyewitness accounts; for the Acts of the Apostles, he did the same plus, as Paul’s helper, was an eyewitness himself to some of the events.
The writings of Paul and his helper Luke are particularly important to most of us today because it is their writings that assure us Gentiles have as much right to the truth of Jesus as Jews.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, thank You for choosing Abraham and his descendants to bless the whole world…including me…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)