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Greek Word Study - Send 1

At least a dozen different Greek words are translated “send” in the New Testament. The two most common words are both found in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent (apostello – ah po STELL oh) me, so send (pempo -- PEM po) I you.” The word apostello is especially used in John’s gospel when the one sent has an official, authoritative capacity, or when the one sent is himself the object of faith and love. A later article will deal with this word.

The word pempo, as applied by Jesus to His disciples in this verse, focuses our attention more on the Sender than on those who are sent. A brief study of the use of pempo in John's gospel clarifies what it really means to be sent to do God's will. The following verses describe how Jesus Himself was sent (pempo) and apply also to the way in which all of us are sent. When someone is sent, he is to:
  • Bring honor to God (5:23)
  • Produce belief in God (5:24)
  • Work the works of God (9:4)
  • More importantly, the one who is sent must realize, as Jesus did, that it is: 
  • Not his own will (6:38)
  • Not his own teaching (12:49)
  • Not his own words (14:24)
  • Not his own glory (7:18)
  • He that is sent, then, is:
  • Not greater than his master (13:16)
  • Not known by the world (15:21)
  • Not alone (8:29)

Jesus was a faithful servant who did the will of the Father who sent Him. Perhaps these verses which describe Jesus’ faithful servanthood can teach us what Jesus had in mind when He said, “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.”