Elhívás és küldetés az első három evangéliumban

Lészai Lehel: Elhívás és küldetés az első három evangéliumban. In: Református Szemle 100.1 (2007), 162-171. pp.

Vocation and Mission in the First Three Gospels. Jesus’ calling and ministry was chronologically followed by the vocation and election of the disciples. The calling and election happened in accordance with Jesus’ and the Father’s sovereign will. The story of the disciples’ vocation shows several resemblances with the stories on the calling of the Old Testament prophets, especially with the calling of Elisha by Elijah. The Twelve abandoned their occupations, homes, relatives, in one word everything immediately after the calling. Above all they had to give up their own lives, to share the master’s destiny. The writers of the synoptic gospels with no exception recorded the list of names of the apostles. The number of the disciples is symbolic because Jesus laid claim upon all the twelve tribes of Israel. Through his disciples Jesus gathered God’s old-new people for salvation. Their selection was done out of a larger circle of disciples. Some of Jesus’ expectations were not compulsory for all of them. For example not everyone had to follow him leaving everything behind, because some women were his disciples by serving from their fortunes. Others did not leave their parents and relatives behind, but they still became disciples remaining in their places. Geographically the twelve disciples came from Galilee. The disciples were together with Jesus and they were prepared by him to preach, to heal, to drive out unclean spirits and to raise the dead. The mission – that meant serving and teaching, first of all – often went together with suffering, but that was considered to be another opportunity of bearing testimony to them. Their calling happened with a view to mission. The Father sent the Son, and Jesus sent the disciples to preach on God’s kingdom, on conversion and on belief in the Gospel. For this assignment he gives the disciples the same authority and power he got from the Father for preaching and healing. Jesus sends out the disciples two by two as “yoke-companions”. After the spiritual authorization and after their having been sent out two by two, we learn about the fact that in a completely defenseless situation the disciples went out on their ways without the least necessary journey-equipment. The synoptic gospels without any exception note that Jesus did not allow the disciples to take too much with them in order to fulfill their mission. In these enumerations we can find the prohibition of bread, bags, money, more than two robes, sandals and sticks After the first mission, which meant only inner mission, a new situation appeared, in which Jesus instructed his disciples to supply some necessaries. Besides the investment with authority and power, the disciples were given by Jesus a promise, regarding the signs of their faith as well and their master’s continuous presence. The promise in Mk 16,17–18 speaks about five signs which are to follow the believers’ faith: they will drive out demons, they will speak in tongues, if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed and they will lay their hands on sick people and these will get well. Jesus entrusted his disciples with the continuation of his mission before Easter, while he was still on earth. First of all the twelve disciples were those who had this honor, after Jesus showed them an example and prepared them. Besides them the seventy(-two) disciples are mentioned, whom Jesus sent as well, with the same mission. The mission of the disciples supposed service and suffering. Besides the biblical theological way of handling this topic we have to take into consideration the Christological, ecclesiological and eschatological aspects, too. The disciples only partly recognize Christ in the person of their master before Easter. In spite of this, they accept Jesus’ authority and mission; they are surprised by his miracles which were beyond their reach. In the course of Jesus’ teaching and giving example they become more and more obedient towards their Lord, until after Easter and Pentecost, when they carry out their task as committed delegates. From the Christological aspect ensues the ecclesiological one. Discipleship in Matthew’s Gospel means the acceptance of the gospel. The disciples hear and understand Jesus’ commands, his teaching and they do God’s will. At the same time, according to 28,20 the disciples are those, in whom Jesus is always present with his authority. The disciples have differentiated roles in the church, because they are the new patriarchs, who are a paradigm to be followed by the later disciples. The result of the Christological aspect of discipleship is its eschatological character. The synoptic gospels present Jesus as someone, who for the time being rules the earth, but at the same time he is the Son of Man too, who will come and judge everyone. Christology defines the believers’ attitude not only towards the past and the present, but towards future as well. Matthew speaks about Christian life as something that is bound to the perspective of the eschatology. The disciples’ life and obedience is decisive from the standpoint of the coming judgment. The calling to the emergency of conversion can save many people’s lives. Christ’s eschatological teaching and healing means God’s last word, which implements and reveals his will. By listening and accepting this preaching and teaching people can become Jesus’ disciples, and the eschatological salvation depends on it. The subjects of the vocation and of mission are the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The basis and the aim of the Father’s calling and sending is Jesus. Between Jesus’ transfiguration and return the subject of the vocation and of the mission is the Holy Spirit. Jesus is able to make the stones cry out, and still he calls ordinary people to proclaim his eternal message. In spite of the apparent restriction Jesus’ call in Mt 11,28a refers to everyone. Jesus’ universal call becomes evident in Mk 13,10 and eventually in his command that he sends to every creature and every nation all over the world. The universal call is delivered as a personal one. The triune God calls everybody, claims everybody and turns the obedient ones into disciples and gives them commission.