Kefa’s Appointment As An Emissary & His Inquiring Mind

In my last post, we looked at Kefa’s calling by Yeshua to follow Him. In this post, will turn to Kefa’s appointment as an Emissary and his inquiring mind from the Parable of the Watchful Servants.

1 Yeshua called His twelve talmidim and gave them authority to drive out unclean spirits and to heal every kind of disease and weakness. 2 These are the names of the twelve emissaries:

First, Shim’on, called Kefa, and Andrew his brother, Ya’akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan, his brother, 3 Philip and Bar-Talmai, T’oma and Mattityahu the tax-collector, Ya’akov Bar-Halfai and Taddai, 4 Shim ‘on the Zealot, and Y’hudah from K’riot, who betrayed Him. ~ Matthew 10:1-4 (CJB) [1]

These men had been traveling with Yeshua, listening to Yeshua, and hanging out with Yeshua. They were learners. Yeshua called them talmidim (disciples) and transformed them into emissaries (“apostles” or “sent out ones.”)

An emissary was a Hebrew term that was used for business agents, although the general concept is broader than that; a “sent one” acted on the full authority of the sender to the extent that one accurately represented the sender’s mission. [2]

I find it interesting that Mattityahu (Matthew), as well as the other Gospel writer’s list Kefa, first when it was his brother Andrew who was one of Yeshua’s first talmidim. Here we see that Yeshua does have leaders among leaders. And Kefa, indeed, was a leader amongst these leaders.

Nonetheless, Kefa was the apostle with the foot-shaped mouth, often saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Maybe you enjoy talking, and your heart is as big as the world, but you have a tendency to speak and to think later. Kefa was like that.

The Lord changed Shim’on from one who was shifting and unstable into Kefa or “Rock.” Yeshua renamed Kefa because He transformed him from one who was shifting and unstable to one who would become trustworthy and reliable.

Yeshua’s selection of 12 talmidim is also reminiscent of the 12 tribes of Isra’el. Moving on in chronological order, we come to the:

Parable of the Watchful Servants

As Yeshua is speaking to His followers, he says:

35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit, 36 like people waiting for their master’s return after a wedding feast; so that when he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him without delay. 37 Happy the slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes! Yes! I tell you he will put on his work clothes, seat them at the table, and come serve them himself! 38 Whether it is late at night or early in the morning, if this is how he finds them, those slaves are happy.

39 “But notice this: no house-owner would let his house be broken into if he knew when the thief was coming. 40 You too, be ready! For the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting him.”

41 Kefa said, “Sir, are you telling this parable for our benefit only or for everyone’s?”42 The Lord replied, “Nu,[3] who is the faithful and sensible manager whose master puts him in charge of the household staff to give them their share of food at the proper time? 43 It will go well with that servant if he is found doing his job when his master comes. 44 Yes, I tell you he will put him in charge of all he owns. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking his time coming,’ and starts bullying the men- and women-servants, and eating and drinking, getting drunk, 46, then his master will come on a day when the servant isn’t expecting him, at a time he doesn’t know in advance, his master will cut him in two and put him with the disloyal. 47 Now the servant who knew what his master wanted but didn’t prepare or act according to his will, will be whipped with many lashes; 48; however, the one who did what deserves a beating, but didn’t know, will receive few lashes. From him who has been given much, much will be demanded — from someone to whom people entrust much, they ask still more. ~ Luke 12:35-48 (CJB)

Talmidim often sought clarification from their teachers by asking questions, so Kefa’s question was not unusual. After all, inquiring minds want to know. Yeshua previously told His disciples that His parables held secrets that were only for His followers. Yeshua did not answer Kefa’s question directly. Instead, He told another story about a master and his manager. This story emphasized that the master’s servant should be watching, but this story made it clear that the servant must also be working.

The faithful servant of Yeshua is the one who is given a task, performs it, and is blessed by it. The reward that Yeshua will give to the faithful steward will be far greater than the challenges encountered in this service. Faithful believers will receive greater responsibility at His return.

In my next post, we will turn to Kefa’s involvement with the healing of a woman with a hemorrhaging of blood and Ya’ir’s (Jarius) daughter.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] See also Mark 3:16 & Luke 6:14.

[2] Bible Background Commentary – New Testament.

[3]Nu is a general-purpose Yiddish word meaning variously, “Well?” “So?” “Indeed!” “I challenge you,” or, “If not that, then what?”—with many possible inflections and overtones.

6 Replies to “Kefa’s Appointment As An Emissary & His Inquiring Mind”

  1. So, what is the possibility that the meaning of Yeshua’s response to Kefa is more “both you and them”, rather than “you or them”? Yeshua responds this way to His disciples a lot, and I’ve wondered whether it was a cultural thing, like a common teaching method among the Jews of the period, or a literary device used to chain parables together. What do you think?


      1. Hi Don,

        The line I’m referring to is the verse you underlined, Kefa’s question. I’m asking whether Kefa’s question is a is a literary device or Yeshua’s second parable is a teaching method answering Kefa’s question.

        Liked by 1 person

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