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A teenager asked me that question several years ago. She was interested in knowing just how I, and preachers generally, occupied the time on an “average day.” The joke has been used on me that as a preacher I have it made: “…Must be nice to work four hours a week.” Sadly, I have known some “jackleg” preachers–unindustrious and unmotivated, unreasonable and unapproachable, and for these reasons just plain unlikable!
Some preachers seem to stay in the eye of the storm in the local church. They stir up trouble and controversy, whether seeking to loose or bind where they have no business. Some ride hobby horses! Some seem to be ever involved in “career building” and posturing. Some even give indication that they see preaching primarily as simply the way they make a living.
It is unpleasant to suggest that some preachers do their work with less than honorable motives, though motivation problems for preachers are almost as old as the church (Philippians 1:15ff). Some day, Christ will determine whose motives are straight and whose are not (cf. Matthew 25:31ff).
The better question may be, “What should a preacher do?” Paul admonishes Timothy, “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). This is actually a second series of injunctions, following his encouragement to the young preacher to “Preacher the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Does the New Testament tell us what “the work of an evangelist” is? It does! First, “the work of an evangelist” is inherent in that name he wears. He is an “evangelist.” That is derived from the word “euaggelizo,” meaning to “announce the good news; to declare and bring glad tidings.” How he does this is through a lifetime of study of the whole Bible and a daily study of specific portions of the Bible. Where he does this is publicly and privately. When he does this is in the assembly, the classroom, in people’s homes, or wherever he can impart the word.
Second, “the work of an evangelist” is expanded in the context. Doing that work is to “fulfill” his “ministry” (here, special service). It is a ministry involving three basic elements: reproof (correct, convince, tell a fault), rebuke (censure, charge, forbid), and exhortation (encouragement, comfort, and consoling).
Third, “the work of an evangelist” involves an underlying attitude. He may have to endure hardships, slights, and unkindness from those who do not want to hear his message. He must “watch…in all things” (one version says, “keep your head in all situations”). In other words, a preacher’s message can be harmed by poor methodology. Even when dealing with the ill-tempered, the combative, and the mean-spirited, he must stay cool. He must develop the wisdom to let his “speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that” he “may know how” he “should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6).
The preacher is called by God to preach and evangelize. He is to encourage with every opportunity. He is to correct and instruct. He is to endure the difficult and keep his head at all times. All this implies that he must be among and around both the lost and the people of God. A preacher who takes this work seriously will help the church to grow! — Neal Pollard
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- Before the trials started Jesus was arrested.
- Mt. 26:47 says a “great multitude” came to arrest the Lord.
- How many people are in a “great crowd?”
- Many believe that 500-600 people were sent to arrest the Lord.
- Imagine a police force that is tasked to capture a single man.
- They are told where they man is and 500 officers go to that persons’ house.
- Jesus’ trials began with some Jewish officials.
- Jesus went to Annas, Jn. 18:12-14.
- Annas had been appointed as high priest, but corruption had ousted him from office.
10. People began to spit on Jesus. He was hit.
11. Mt. 26:67-68 – READ
12. Along with the spitting there is hitting. People used their palms to strike the Lord.
13. Jesus was also blindfolded (Mk. 14:65), and people used this blindfold to mock Him.
14. Jesus appeared before Annas, Caiaphas, and then the Sanhedrin, Mt. 27:1-2.
15. The Bible says “many” false witnesses came forward to accuse Jesus (Mk. 14:56).
16. Have we ever been accused of something we did not do?
17. False accusations are no fun and Jesus knows exactly what this is like.
18. People also twisted the Lord’s word (Mk. 14:58).
19. After these three Jewish trials, there were three Roman trials.
20. Jesus appeared before Pilate (Jn. 18:28-38), then Herod (Lk. 23:6-12) and then again before Pilate.
21. Jesus appeared before Pilate “the next morning” (Mt. 27:1-2).
22. John said it was “early” (Jn. 18:28).
23. Jn. 18:31 – READ
24. Pilate sent Jesus to Herod.
25. Lk. 23:8 says Herod wanted to see Jesus perform a miracle.
26. Jesus would not perform for Herod so this official and his men mocked Him.
27. Lk. 23:11-12 – READ
28. This was also the time when the crown of thorns was beaten into Jesus’ head, Mk. 15:17.
29. After Herod had finished with the Lord, Jesus was sent back to Pilate.
30. This began the sixth trial which is found in Lk. 23:14-16 – READ
31. Pilate said he could find no fault with Jesus.
32. Pilate made other attempts to free the Lord (Jn. 19:4-5).
33. In the end the people would not be swayed – they wanted Jesus to be crucified.
34. Eventually the people said “His blood be on us and our children” (Mt. 27:25).
35. It was not long before Jesus died on the cross.
36. We need salvation from sin and Jesus provides that through His death.
37. Jesus also provides so much more.
38. His trials show that He can understand the things we go through in life.
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