AGABUS, THE PROPHET (Fr. Varghese Paul, S.J.)

Agabus is a New Testament Prophet. His name in Greek from Hebrew means love. His name appears only twice in the Acts of the Apostles as a Christian prophet. Some people think that Agabus who appears in two different places in the narrations of the Acts is not one person but two different persons with the same name. But I am prone to think that Agabus is one and the same person appearing in two different places. He is an acceptable Christian prophet and his prophesies of both the occasion came true.

The two references to Agabus in the Acts show that the primitive Christians held Agabus to the rank next to the Apostles. The book of Acts narrates about Agabus prophesy, About that time some prophets went from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and by the power of the Spirit predicted that a severe famine was about to come over all the earth. (It came when Claudius was emperor) The disciples decided that each of them would send as much as he could to help their fellow-believers who lived in Judaea. They did this, then, and send the money to the Church elders by Barnabas and Saul (Acts 11, 27-30).

Thanks to the great appreciation of the primitive Christians for the prophesy of Agabus, on famine, they acted immediately and collected money during famine in the time of Claudius and send it their fellow believers in Judaea.

In the second narration of the Acts the prophet Agabus acts out his prophesy. Luke the author of the Acts writes about Paul and himself at Caesarea, we had been there for several days when a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judaea. He came to us, took Pauls belt, tied up his own feet and hands with it, and said, This is what the Holy Spirit says : The owner of his belt will be tied up in this way by the Jews in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles (Acts 21, 10-11).

Here we see that Agabus has come down from Judea to Caesarea to meet Paul. Meeting Paul in the house of Philip, one of the seven deacons, Agabus take Pauls belt and acts out his prophesy by binding his hands and legs with it and telling the people as the Holy Spirit inspired him. We know that this prophesy of Agabus too came true as Paul was arrested by the Gentiles Romans, in Jerusalem.

The local Christians respected prophet Agabus and believed in his prophesy. So they did not want Paul to go the Jerusalem. But Paul insisted on it expressing his willingness to submit himself not only to be arrested but also to die for Christ.

We do not know anything more about Prophet Agabus. We know that it is in referring to Agabus the book of Acts mentions first time the gift of prophesy. Traditions indicate that Agabus was one of the seventy-two men (Lk 10, 1) and that he died a martyr. (contact the author: यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

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ફાધર વર્ગીસ પોલ, એસ.જે.
(ડિરેક્ટર, સી.આઈ.એસ.એસ.)


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