As you read each of the verses below, think of the apostles. Where the verses say “the prophets” or refer to a group, think of Jesus’ apostles as well. Where the verses speak of the prophets’ writings (what we call the Old Testament), think of the apostles’ writings (what we call the New Testament), too. These are ways Jesus would have us think of His apostles. That is, as the prophets were to Jesus, so the apostles are to us. Therefore, let us regard the apostles as we do the prophets.
Matthew 5:11,12 – Blessed are we when people persecute us (2 Timothy 3:12; Hebrews 11:25), for so they persecuted the apostles who were before us.
Mark 16:14 – Let us not give occasion for the Lord to reproach us for “unbelief and hardness of heart” because we did not “believe those who had seen Him after He had risen” (i.e. the apostles, because they were “those who had seen Him after He had risen”).
Luke 16:31 – If someone does not accept what the apostles have written (i.e. the New Testament), neither will he be persuaded if someone rises from the dead. (“If they do not listen to [Jesus and the apostles], they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”)
Luke 24:25 – Let us not be “foolish and slow of heart” to believe all that the apostles have spoken.
John 12:38 – As Isaiah cried, “Lord, who has believed our report?” so the apostles cry, “Lord, who has believed our report?” See also Romans 10:16 and, of course, Isaiah 53:1, which is the original utterance of Isaiah.
Acts 15:15 – Let us believe all those things, and only those things, with which the words of the apostles agree.
Acts 26:22 – Isn’t it true that with respect to the Second Coming as accomplished fact we are stating only those things which the apostles and Jesus said were going to take place?
Acts 26:27 – Do we believe the apostles? Of course, we do!
Romans 10:16 – See John 12:38 above, along with its accompanying note.
1 Corinthians 3:5 – Are the apostles not servants through whom we have believed? According to John 17:20, we believe in Jesus through the apostles’ word. The apostles were sent (John 20:21) to tell us of Him. Receiving the apostles (Matthew 10:40; John 13:20) is the same as receiving Him.
2 Timothy 3:14 – Have we not learned the things of Christ from the apostles? Do we not know of Him through them? How could the world even know of Christ if it were not for the apostles?
Hebrews 13:7 – Have the apostles not led us? Have they not spoken the word of God to us?
2 Chronicles 20:20 – When we put our trust in the apostles, we will succeed in the things of God.
2 Chronicles 36:15, 16 – When we harden our hearts against the words of the apostles, there remains no remedy for us – that is, for the people of God.
Isaiah 53:1 – See John 12:38 and accompanying note above.
Daniel 12:3 – The apostles have insight, for sure! The apostles led the many to righteousness…and continue to do so!
Be sure that we are not setting the prophets aside because of the apostles. On the contrary, because we believe the apostles, we believe the prophets. Because of the apostles, the prophets have meaning to us. Because the apostles, the prophets can be to us what they were to Jesus: the bulwark of His faith in God. And for us, the apostles have become part and parcel of that bulwark.
Therefore, just as Jesus could say “It is written” and then quote the prophets, so we can say “It is written” and then quote the apostles…as well as the prophets – for both groups were God’s spokesmen.