Suffering For The Calling: 2 Timothy 1:11-12
“11) for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12) For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:11-12‬ ‭
According to the context, the subject matter of the preaching and teaching relates to the ministry of Jesus Christ to purchase human salvation, abolish death and bring life and immortality to light through the gospel. Jesus must be the focal point of our message.
Notice, to spread this message Paul was “sent out” as an apostle. “Sent Out” is the basic meaning of the word “apostle.” His sending is recorded in Acts 13:1-4. Notice from verse 4 that Barnabas and Paul recognize that they were “sent out by the Holy Spirit.” From this sending they received heavenly authority to conduct their ministry in the power of God.
The Greek word for “preacher” comes from the proclaimer of an official state message to the people in the public square. They were also called “the crier” or “herald.” They were charged with giving the official public notice. They were the voice of the king or state to the people. As is often the case, New Testament biblical terms were often borrowed from common secular terms.
But notice the wonderful association of the word “Preacher” to the official state “Herald.” Technically the preacher should be proclaiming an official message from God to man. It is not his message, it is Gods message. In this context the message relates to the gospel from the previous two verses.
The role of the teacher is broader. This is the instructor of students. In a New Testament sense, this person unpacks the whole Bible for people to understand. Paul was sent out to both preach and teach.
In verse 12, Paul makes the confession that he suffered much to be faithful and true to his calling and his message. Satan goes to great lengths to obscure the gospel, twist Scripture and leave people as slaves to lies and deception. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) In these same verses Paul described how careful he was to preach Jesus as Lord.
As we tie 2 Timothy 1:8 and 1:12 together we discover the theme of suffering for the gospel. Paul suffered much to define and defend the clear gospel message. (See his testimony in Philippians 1:3-30. The chapter closes with the same call to be willing to suffer for the gospel.)
As I write this brief commentary on 2 Timothy 1:11-12, I am 2/3rds of the way through the book; “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripken. It is packed with amazing stories of suffering for the gospel. It makes the point that suffering is common and normal for those who faithfully proclaim the gospel and live for Jesus in many countries. It should be mandatory reading for every western Christian. It punctuates what Paul is trying to say to Timothy in his second letter. Suffering for the Jesus and the gospel is normal. It should be expected.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global