When was the last time you read First Timothy 2:8-15? Have you ever been asked to teach on it???
Paul wrote two letters to Timothy, the young pastor of a collection of house churches known as the church at Ephesus. Here’s a sampling of what Paul wrote to promote order and peace in the midst of a rather combative church environment…
- I want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes
- A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
- I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
- Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
- But women will be saved through childbearing
Those are the action points that I’m tasked with interpreting and teaching this weekend. Hence the title to this post: Anyone want my job?
I have spent several weeks prepping for this weekend’s talk. I could easily spend several weeks more yet still feel not-quite-ready. I’ve spent most of the past few hours praying (and pleading) rather than studying. Here is my journaled prayer, blogged for you to hopefully join me in prayer…
God, I confess my confusion regarding the Biblically mandated roles in the church for men and women. Two primary views have been articulated by men (and women!!!) far smarter than I – an egalitarian or a complimentarian interpretation. I gotta admit that I’m often swayed by the latest book I’ve read, or the most articulate presentation of a particular viewpoint.
Despite my own intellectual limitations, I believe that I have a strong, Biblical basis for what I will share tomorrow. Oh, God, I hope that it is Biblically sound!
Heavenly Father, one of my prayer requests today is that I would first and foremost have a pure heart that lays aside any desire to appear “right” or “smart.” For whatever reason, You choose to communicate Truth through fallible mouthpieces every Sunday morning the world over. Why? I guess because Your only Perfect Option is now with You in heaven, so You really aren’t left with any other good choices down here.
Anytime I crack open the Life-giving and mysterious Book of books, I am hopelessly dependent on the Holy Spirit to make up for my ignorance, prejudices, biases, blindness, and a self-slanted sin nature that accumulate into an enormous hurdle that only that same Holy Spirit can overcome.
I have really grown to love the Bible. It’s a love that God graced me with, not one I earned over time. Sometimes He opens my eyes to a beautifully written passage – a poem by Solomon, a vision by Isaiah, a song by David – and the Bible becomes this ornately decorated cake that I almost hate to ruin by cutting into it. It is simply too beautiful to eat, to mess it up by getting my hands into it.
But cake uncut and not eaten indicates a special occasion not celebrated. God’s Word not rightly divided and not chewed on and not ingested indicates a life that remains uninformed as to why life is really worth celebrating.
God, could Jesus come back tonight in order to teach tomorrow? No, I’m not asking Jesus to return because I am eager for heaven… I’m just that convinced that He would be a much better option than me to expound on that perplexing passage in Timothy. I know that this request is foolish – when Jesus does return it won’t be to teach but rather to fulfill. So maybe I should ask You if Paul could be sent back to teach us tomorrow. Or at least Timothy? It’s not gonna happen, is it, God?
Again, God, You are not left with many great options for currently-living teachers, so send an outpouring of Your Spirit to make up for human inadequacies. In spite of my razor thin mind slicing into the beautiful cake of Your Word, and the fork of my tongue tasting it, give us all a hunger to ingest it and apply it appropriately.
Gary….I’m glad you are teaching tomorrow looking forward to learning from you….praying for everyone to walk away with a better understanding of the timeless truth God has for us. Thanks for all your preparation. You will do great!
Praying that the Holy Spirit will lead you whenyou share this message.
God has already demonstrated how richly He fills you with Himself. Just today at the beach my brother wanted me to show him your blog. He read aloud the “Bubbles” post to all present, and kept interjecting, “This is amazing!” and, “So GOOD!” I am thinking that you are going to teach as much through your transparency about the trepidation that goes with teaching a difficult and culturally challenging passage and your dependence on God as you are about the passage itself. Praying for you, Gary – with confidence!
Whew! Gary… I DO NOT want your job! Sorry. By now, you’ve taught. Is it somewhere I can read or listen?
You know why I want to.