The Substance of the Charge
2 Preach the word . . . .
Proclaiming. The focal point of the command is to “preach” or “proclaim” the word (2 Tim. 4:2, DBY, MNT, TCNT). The word, “preach” (Gk. kerusso), denotes to “proclaim as a herald.”145 The word originally referred to “a task of a royal herald who read with a loud voice before a gathering of people the decrees of the emperor.”146 It carries the idea of proclaiming, announcing, heralding, crying out aloud, and broadcasting.
Getting It Out. To preach the Word is “to get the Word out.” It means to bring out the meaning of the Word. It signifies proclaiming that meaning in ways that people would understand. It thus entails exegetical effort on the part of the preacher.
At the time, it primarily referred to the audible preaching of the Word before a physical audience. Today, we proclaim the Word before both physical and virtual audiences, not just in Sunday sermons, seminars, small groups, camps and conferences, but also through various media—TV, radio, print, billboards, text messages, internet, or video streaming.
The tense in the Greek is aorist imperative. It conveys a definite decision “that must be begun at that very moment.”147 It is “urgent and immediate.”148 The apostolic command, therefore, is for Timothy to preach the Word now—urgently in these last days.
Prioritizing. Note what Paul was telling Pastor Timothy. He does not say, “begin to preach,” but, “preach as your first priority.”149 Note also what Paul is not telling Timothy. “I’m not charging you to heal the sick; I’m not charging you to raise the dead; I’m not charging you to speak in tongues; I’m not charging you to perform miracles; I’m charging you to preach the Word.”150
The apostles said, “But we will remain steadfast in prayer, and in the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). Paul told Timothy to “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” (1 Tim. 4:13, NIV). Paul is commands Timothy to devote himself continuously to preaching the Bible. The priority of the Pastor is to get the Word out.
143 Stott, The Message, 127.
144 MacArthur, “Marks of the Faithful Preacher.” Cited __ Online: http://www.biblebb. com/file/MAC/sg55-20.htm.
145 Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, David Brown, JFBC in Power Bible CD.
146 Isidro, Annotated, 389.
147 Zodhiates, ed., The Complete, 862.
148 Gary Hill, “Hill Emphatic Language Pointer System,” The Discovery Bible (ed. Gleason Archer (Chicago: Moody, 1987), xvi-xvii.
149 Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 721; cf. Cleon L. Rogers Jr. and Cleon Rogers III, The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), 506.
150 James Merritt, “Pastoral Leadership in a Postmodern World.” Cited __ Online: http://www.uu.edu/centers/rglee/fall03/merritt.htm.