I teach a Bible study for our Moms Ministry at my church. We have been studying the Fruit of the Spirit as it pertains to motherhood. This past week we discussed patience.
Sometimes I like to go all geeky and study the original language that a specific verse was written in. The Lord led me to teach about 2 Timothy 4:2, and I wanted to share the amazing little nuggets that emerged just from digging a little deeper into these words. Obviously I tied it into motherhood, but I thought this could be for anybody. I mean, Paul wrote it so that Timothy would share it with those he was pouring into.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great (all) patience and instruction.
Preach = kerusso = especially to preach, publish, or announce religious truth, of apostles and teachers
We need to be announcing, proclaiming, writing, sharing truth!
The word – Paul references the true gospel 36 times in 2 Timothy. It is not our own notions we preach, but the pure plain word of God.
Specifically, what we are “preaching” is the Word of God. We shouldn’t preach anything that is from ourselves, but what the Word of God says. Does that mean we can’t share personal anecdotes or dig deeper? Obviously not. But what we preach should be the true gospel and based on the true gospel. Does anything else truly matter?
In season = eukairos = seasonably, opportunely; when the opportunity occurs
We should be preaching the gospel when the opportunity comes up! How often does a perfect opportunity arise, but we shrink back with fear of rejection or whatever the reason may be? It is an opportunity; take it!
Out of season = akairos = unseasonable, unseasonably, inopportunely..whether seasonable for men or not.
Not only should we be sharing when it’s convenient, but even when it isn’t. Even when it’s not an opportune time or whether the people we are preaching to want to receive it or not. They need to hear the truth, and we need to be sharing it, regardless if it is in season or out of season.
Reprove = elegcho = to find fault with, correct – by word; to reprehend severely, chide, admonish
I love that this word does not simply mean to find fault with, but it also means to correct when we have found that fault.
Rebuke = epitimao = to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely – to admonish or charge sharply
Similar to reprove, we should be identifying the issue and then admonishing them to change.
Exhort = parakaleo = para = beside, to come alongside meaning to call near, invite – beseech, call for, comfort, desire, exhort, entreat, pray
This is so beautiful to me. Yes, we are to reprove and rebuke, but we are also to exhort…to come alongside the person and invite them into correction. We do not just point the finger, lay blame, and then leave them alone to hopefully figure it out. We come beside them to show them the way.
I am most reminded of correcting our children. Isn’t it a good thing that we walk them through the wrong choices they make and not just allow them to try to figure out how to do the right thing on their own? We come alongside them and direct them according to the Word of God.
With patience = “If you do not see the effect of your labors presently, yet do not give up the cause” (Matthew Henry, Commentary on 2 Tim. 4). Longsuffering means “taking a long time to boil.” “We not only need patience in our relationships with other believers, we need patience in our responsibility to teach God’s word to this generation” (David Hocking, The Patience of God). The patience of God is not toward circumstances because He knows/sees all things. His patience is longsuffering toward people. (2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.)
We need patience in our responsibility to teach God’s Word to this generation. So good. We may not see the fruit of our labor immediately. But we are to be patient…patient with the people and the process.
With instruction = didache = the act of teaching, instructing, tutoring (doctrine) Must do it rationally, not with passion, but with doctrine. Teach them the truth as it is in Jesus.
It is not just teaching that we should be doing. It should be teaching them correct doctrine-the truth that we find in Jesus.