Friday, 9 March 2018
…to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 2 Timothy 1:11
The words, “to which” speak of the gospel referred to in the previous verse. It is the message of Christ Jesus, sent from God to save us, that Paul was “appointed a preacher.” The word is one which speaks of a herald, or a town crier who proclaims critical news for the public to hear and heed. It carries its own sense of authority in that the message is of another. In this case, he proclaims the message of Christ.
He then says, “an apostle.” This word simply means “sent one.” However, the term is inappropriately used by people today. An “apostle of Jesus Christ” means one commissioned by Him personally. Paul was appointed as an apostle of Jesus personally. His calling and commission are recorded in Acts. However, to use the title today is an error. The apostolic age of the church ended when the last appointed apostle of Jesus died. His word is complete, and therefore, there is no need for continuing with the foundation which has been laid.
Paul then says, “and a teacher of the Gentiles.” The words “of the Gentiles” is not found in some ancient manuscripts. Whether it is a later addition, or whether it was inadvertently dropped out of those other texts, it doesn’t change doctrine. It is already fully established elsewhere that Paul’s ministry was to the Gentiles. Here, it is noted that in this capacity, he was also a teacher. The word signifies someone who is known for his mastery in a particular field of learning. In the case of Paul, it is that he was a fully capable and competent teacher in theology.
Life application: It was Paul’s passion to preach the word, teach the word, and to fulfill his mission as one sent by Christ Jesus to the nations. Each of us has a responsibility to carry on that goal by either proclaiming Christ, or by supporting those who do. This is to include pastors, teachers, and missionaries. Have you been faithful in contributing to meeting these needs?
Lord God, please give us hearts which are willing to share what we have with those who are dedicated to spreading the message of Jesus. There are preachers, teachers, and missionaries who need to be tended to. Help us not just to be on the receiving end of their labors, but to assist them in their efforts. This is especially true with missionaries who often live on the total support of others in lands which can be most inhospitable. And spur us on to praying for these people as well. Give us such willing hearts, O God. Amen.