Over the spring and summer of one year, Paul and Barnabas traveled from Antioch to Iconium, on to Lystra, and then to Derbe; spending a month or more in each place, preaching, and baptizing those who were ready.
At the end of summer, they retraced their steps, visiting all their converts along the way. In each place they found one man of strong faith and ability, and after praying over him, they appointed him presbyter to lead the new church.
If you look up the word priest in any good dictionary, you will see that it is a slimming down of the word presbyter. So we can say that Paul and Barnabas appointed a priest to lead each new church.
The word presbyter itself has a long history. It comes from an Asian name for a lead ox. As separate words, the pres, means the one who leads, while byt was their word for an ox. Together, a pres-byt was the lead ox in a team of oxen.
That is what a priest should be, the one out front, showing the others how to pull the load. He shouldn’t be the big shot sitting in the cart and swinging a whip.
Post a Comment