When you read the following sentence WHO COMES TO MIND?

“Present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

A PhD theologian cannot be your primary paradigm.

A renowned Christian author cannot be your primary paradigm.

A decorous holy man cannot be you primary paradigm.

An upright Pharisee cannot be your primary paradigm.

A law abiding scribe cannot be your primary paradigm.

A winsome member of the Sanhedrin cannot be your primary paradigm.

The president of a seminary cannot be your primary paradigm.

A scholarly pastor with a Scottish accent cannot be your primary paradigm.

The highly irregular, shockingly eccentric, rabbi – Jesus of Nazareth MUST be your primary paradigm for this command.

If you were living in the days of Jesus of Nazareth you’d assume that the Pharisees were the people approved by God; holy workmen; above reproach; blameless; righteous handlers of the Word of Truth. And the Pharisees would lead you to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was an irreverent babbler; a man who ruined His hearers, and led people into more and more ungodliness. You would regularly hear the Pharisees sounding the alarm about Jesus of Nazareth, saying, “His talk spreads like gangrene! He upsets people’s faith; have nothing to do with his foolish, ignorant, controversial claims!”

But Jesus of Nazareth would tell you, “The ‘pious,’ ‘law-abiding,’ Pharisees are the FOOLS! They pull you into their ignorant controversies; and all they ever do is breed quarrels! They are lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”

“Fix your eyes on Me! Make Me your obsession! I am the perfect servant of the LORD. I am not quarrelsome, but in fact I am kind to everyone. I’m the perfect teacher (and I have no published books or PhD’s). I patiently endure evil, and I correct My opponents with gentleness. I believe that God may perhaps grant My opponents repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. I preach The Word; I am ready in season and out of season to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for Me, I am always sober-minded, enduring suffering, doing the work of an evangelist, fulfilling My ministry.”