PF smilesIt’s a slow news day, so take time to read this long apologetics article which shows how the Bible and Apostolic Fathers support the ministry of the Pope.

In a world where everybody seems to have the questions, but nobody dares to have an answer, Catholics believe they do have a source for some answers. We believe Jesus had authority directly from his Father to teach the truth, and that he gave some of that authority to his apostles. Catholics believe their bishops are the successors to the Apostles and that they speak with apostolic authority.

The leader of the bishops is the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. To understand the role of the Pope we first have to see what the New Testament teaches about the apostles themselves. Once we see what the apostles were called to do, we’ll see what Peter and his successors are meant to be and do.

The whole thing starts with Jesus. All Christians agree that Jesus was God’s Son. He was sent to earth by God to do his will and show us what God is like. Like an ambassador or a crown prince, he came bearing the authority and power of his father, the king. In John’s gospel Jesus says, ‘What I have spoken I have heard from my Father, and he who sent me is always with me and what I do pleases him.’ Jesus was sent by God, and the word ‘apostle’ means ‘sent one’, so Jesus–if you like–was God’s apostle.
So he could fulfil his mission on earth God gave Jesus power and authority. So in Matthew 28.18 Jesus says of himself, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’ and in John chapter eight Jesus says that his authority and teaching are from God. Paul recognises Jesus’ divine authority as well; in Colossians 1.15-19 he says Jesus is ‘the image of the invisible God’ and that in him God was pleased for all his fullness and creative power to dwell,’ and in Ephesians 1.22 Paul says God has placed all things under his feet.

So Jesus exercises God’s own authority and power on earth to forgive sins, to overcome evil and to teach the truth. Now here is the amazing thing–Jesus was given this authority by God and in the gospels Jesus goes on to send twelve men in the same way. In Matthew 10.5 and 40 Jesus sends out the twelve saying, ‘He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me.’ After his resurrection in John’s gospel, Jesus tells the apostles –’ Just as God has sent me–even so I am sending you.’

Go here to read the full article.