What the Bible says about Apostles
12 I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.
12 Paul gently reminds his converts of certain characteristics of his ministry at Corinth that proved he was a genuine apostle. "Signs, wonders and miracles" does not describe three types of miracles but considers them from three aspects—their ability to authenticate the message, evoke awe, and display divine power. These, of course, were not the only marks of apostleship, for there was also faithfulness to the apostolic message (11:4) and conduct consonant with the example of Christ (10:1; 13:14), especially "great perseverance" in the face of opposition (for Corinth, cf. Ac 18:6, 9-10, 12-16). By using the passive voice in "were done," Paul disowns any credit for the supernatural signs accompanying his ministry.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
2-4 For the first and only time in Matthew, the Twelve are called "apostles". "Apostle," as used in NT documents, has narrower and wider meanings. It can mean merely "messenger" (Jn 13:16), refer to Jesus ("the apostle and high priest whom we confess," Heb 3:1), or denote a group of "missionaries"—i.e., a group larger than the Twelve and Paul (Ro 16:7; 2Co 8:23). Nevertheless, the usual meaning is a narrow one, referring to special authoritative representatives chosen by Christ (cf. 1Co 9:1-5; 15:7; Gal 1:17, 19; et al.). Paul usually used the term to refer to the Twelve plus himself (by special dispensation, 1Co 15:8-10). For discussion of the twelve men mentioned here, see comment on Mk 3:16-19.
The Apostles Heal Many
12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.
13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
A Climax of Blessing through the Name (5:12–16)
The prayer of 4:30 was abundantly answered, and the scenes in Jerusalem in this climax of apostolic witness remind us of the heyday of our Lord’s ministry in Galilee and of Paul’s ministry by works and word in Ephesus, at a later date (19:11). Peter’s shadow and Paul’s handkerchiefs were unimportant in themselves, but served as a medium for faith, analogous to the mud with which Jesus anointed the eyes of the blind man (Jn 9:6, 7). The blessing was shared by neighbouring towns (16).
No One Else Dared Join Them (13)
This difficult phrase may well be understood in relation to the normal meetings of the believers in Solomon’s Portico. Read as NEB: ‘They used to meet by common consent in Solomon’s cloister, no one from outside their number venturing to join them.’ That is, worshippers passing by kept away from the Nazarene throng unless they were of those being added to the church.
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