“WOE TO ME IF I DO NOT PREACH THE GOSPEL” (1 Cor 9:16)
📕Rev 10:8-11; Ps 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131 (R.v.103a); Luke 19:45-48
Preaching the good news is a responsibility that befalls every Christian, and not just the ordained. In fact, baptism by its nature makes one to share in the three-fold office of Christ, as priest, prophet and king. The prophetic function imposes on one the responsibility of fulfilling the mission mandate of Christ to his disciples, “Go into the whole world and preach the good news…” (Matt 28:19).
Even though the baptismal character imposes that function as a responsibility, what we read in Rev 10:8-11 tells us that it is still a matter of freewill, to do or not. Notice that John was told twice to take the scroll and eat it. Even when he told the angel to give it to him, the angel insisted, “Take it and eat” (Rev 10:9).
Why must he eat the scroll first? It is because the messenger is not to be separated from the message. The current call on all messengers of the Gospel is to be witnesses – being a reflection of the gospel that we preach. So, as a pastor, I shouldn’t just be telling somebody not to steal, I must also be found upright, even in my management of the Church fund.
But that is not all that is the reason for eating the scroll. Notice that the scroll was sweet and bitter at the same time. The messenger ought to know that the word of God would attract both joy and sorrow. Jesus also informed his disciples to expect that from the opposition of the people (cf. Matt 10:24-25; John 15:18-21).
Notwithstanding, the opposition should not deter us from preaching the gospel. Jesus was opposed; the leaders of the Jews sought to destroy him but he did not refrain from speaking the truth to them (cf. Luke 19:45-48).
All you really need to do is to surrender yourself and be available to God, and you would have taken care of the sorrow that might come from preaching the word.
As you encounter the word of God, may God give you the grace to understand it, to teach what you did understand and practise what you teach. Amen.
Have a happy and transforming presence of God in your life today. Peace be with you.