2 Timothy 4.1-5 – Preach, Teach, Reach

Today Paul charges Timothy with his ministerial duties in as clear a way as he can, and it still rings true today for those called to preach and teach God’s Word.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

The charge is given its proper authority and backing (v.1), and then Timothy is told to preach, to teach, and to reach.

The preaching is to be something Timothy is always ready to do and is to come with reproving, rebuking, and exhorting. This need to be something that the preacher and teacher of God’s Word works hard at, because as we read, people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

How true is that? Generally people don’t want to be reproved, rebuked, and exhorted, they want to have their ears tickled with some feel-good speech. 

Timothy is to preach (v.2), and to teach (v.3) that which is sound, and Paul has laboured over telling him – and us – what we ought to be preaching and teaching (3.10-17, 2.1-13).

The call to reach comes in v.5, and Paul writes that the minister is to do the work of an evangelist and to fulfill your ministry. Paul knew that none of the preaching or teaching can happen without people, and we too know that without people we cannot share the Good News of Jesus.

I would encourage you today to look at who God has put in your life right now with fresh eyes, look around and see to who you can preach, to who you can teach, and who can reach with the truth.

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