Word of the Month

The nameless messenger

June 2015

Naaman, an army captain and presumably the commander of the forces of the King of Aram, was suffering from a skin disease. From his Israelite slave girl, he happened to learn about the Prophet Elisha, who was able to heal him. After a few misunderstandings, Naaman finally arrived at the correct address. With a great retinue—including horses and wagons—he came to a stop at the door of Elisha’s house. From his coach, Naaman kept his expectant gaze fixed on the entrance of the house, from which he assumed the prophet would emerge at any moment to pay his respects to him, the famous and dreaded general. But Elisha did not show his face. A servant of the prophet stepped out of the house, approached Naaman’s coach, and passed along the prophet’s instructions explaining what he needed to do in order to regain his health.

This messenger in this account is so insignificant that the Bible does not even mention his name. He is merely the conveyor of a message, nothing more—a nameless messenger.

Jesus Christ desires to grant salvation to all human beings and save them from sin. It is for this reason that He has sent His messengers, the Apostles. The person who bears this ministry is not important. The important thing is the message he bears. The important thing is that the messenger comes in the name and commission of His Lord. The important thing is that he tells me exactly what his Sender has commissioned him to tell me. The important thing is that he tells me what I must do in my particular circumstances in order to attain salvation.

This is our understanding of ministry, and it is holy to us, because it is not dependent on the person or on an individual human being.

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle