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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

36- Vicars | Stewards

 

[1] Christ Called The Twelve Vicars

The twelve disciples were called vicars in the parable of the vigilant servant.

Christ uttered this in response to a specific question by Saint Peter:

(Luke 12:42) And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?

The Lord classified his flock in two categories, His vicars and the members of His flock. The vicar takes on the responsibility during His Masters absence. It is also clear from the above verse, that the appointment of the vicar was carried out by his Master, and his duties and responsibilities were also set out by the Master.

[2] Here We See Differentiation, Not all are Vicars and Not All Are Not On The Same Footing.

St-Takla.org Image: Modern Coptic art of the Pentecost Day: St. Mary and the Disciples. صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة من الفن القبطي المعاصر تصور عيد العنصرة (عيد حلول الروح القدس) على السيدة العذراء والتلاميذ.

St-Takla.org Image: Modern Coptic art of the Pentecost Day: St. Mary and the Disciples.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة من الفن القبطي المعاصر تصور عيد العنصرة (عيد حلول الروح القدس) على السيدة العذراء والتلاميذ.

The vicar himself is still in the eyes of the Master a servant:

(Luke 12:43) "Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

But this servant holds a distinctive and separate role. He is charged with the responsibility of caring for the congregation and answerable to the Master.

[3] Vicars Are Needed Continually To Provide The Spiritual Nourishment.

One of the duties of a vicar is to provide spiritual nourishment for the flock. As long as Christ maintains a flock, it follows that He will perpetually appoint vicars to spiritually feed this flock.

Such vicars must continue to carry out this role until the Master returns and finds them doing so.

[4] Would It Be Right to Claim That Every Faithful Is a Vicar for God?

Such claim has no credibility, even if some may revolt or claim that we are all kings and priests.

It is rather fitting to be humble and accept Gods own plan for His Church, to become subject to those vicars, who were appointed by the Lord, knowing that if they were to neglect their duties, the Lord would severely reprimand them:

(Luke 12:46) "the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

[5] The Vicarship Is Not Limited To The Twelve

Saint Paul and his helpers were vicars as well:

(1 Cor 4:1-2) Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. {2} Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

[6] God Has Appointed His Own Mysteries And Assigned Vicars To Serve These Mysteries.

(1 Cor 4:6) Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.

The discourse following the above verse shows the obvious ranking in the Church of God.

[7] Saint Paul Did Not Only Limit His Vicarship To Gods Mysteries, But Also Extended It To The Authority To Teach

(1 Cor 9:16-17) For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! {17} For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.

[8] So It Is Not For Every One To Imitate Saint Paul Saying Woe Is Me If I Do Not Preach The Gospel Unless One has Been Entrusted With this Stewardship

Some may say but what would I do about my zeal and desire to evangelise to others about Christ?

I would say that such zeal and desire is great and commendable, but you must channel your zeal through the Church.

The Church is empowered to grant you the grade of deaconship, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. So come and legitimise your mission and calling.

But somebody may find it cumbersome to take this road of legitimisation. Here I reiterate the Scriptural truth for such person:

(Rom 10:14-15) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? {15} And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"

[9] The Vicarship Is Not Limited To The Twelve Disciples and to Saint Paul, But It Is Also Part Of The Bishops Titles

(Titus 1:7) For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

Here we see that the Lord Jesus established the vine and appointed vicars for it (Matt 20:8). These vicars were the apostles, who were commissioned by the Lord as were the prophets (Jer 1:10) previously

The apostles ordained bishops who were scripturally called vicars (Titus 1:7), and in turn these bishops ordained priests and deacons.

[10] These Workers were Delegated to Operate Under Gods Guidance, Name and Sovereignty.

It is obvious the Christ commissioned His Vicars to represent Him on Earth.

(Mat 10:40) "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

(Luke 10:16) "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me."


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