In my articles on the Ephesians 4 ministries (part 1, part 2, part 3), also known as the five-fold ministries, I emphasised one very important characteristic to remember about Christ. In Ephesians 4:8-16, we read that, upon his ascension, Jesus gifted people as apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (or pastors) and teachers. But, even more importantly, I highlighted the fact that Jesus is the greatest apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher that has ever lived.
It still might be weird for us to think of Christ in all five of these ministry roles. We usually note him as prophet, priest and king, which he was. But to think of Jesus as apostle or as evangelist, well, that’s maybe not as kosher. And even to consider Christ as a prophet or teacher can seem quite derogatory, since Jews and Muslims are willing to recognise that about him, but nothing more.
But do take courage. When referring to Christ as apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher, I am not denigrating him. I’m simply recognising that he walked in all five of these ministries. He is still the divine Lord of heaven and earth. But he was the faithful apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher. Continue reading