THE ODD ONE
Hey, what’s that jackass doing out there with the sheep? He looks out of place – – more like an intruder than part of the flock.
Well, farmers sometimes put a donkey with their sheep because it sees and responds to predators and takes action to protect the sheep. It has “eyes to see and ears to hear,” – – and the courage to respond.
Nehemiah 9:26 speaks of “your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you,” and v30 says, “By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets.” They were messengers from God to warn the people and call them to obedience, and we know that because of their confrontational and unpopular message, and the boldness that is required to present it, they were often rejected personally.
In Eph. 4:11 Paul lists the prophetic ministry as part of the wholeness of the Church, along with the apostle, evangelist, pastor and teacher. Each speak truth differently than the others. Paul says that Jesus Himself instituted those ministries for the building up of His Body, the Church. https://biblia.com/bible/esv/ephesians/4/11-16
Paul also writes of prophets in I Cor. 12:27-31, placing them alongside other ministries.
THE WAY IT IS
The prophetic voice can provide security for the flock, but those in power in the institutional church often view it as a threat to the status quo and resist/oppose it as an intruder.
The body is incomplete without this function and it pays a price.
In a local church that Elaine and I attended for about 10-years, until recently, I wrote the leadership twice asking if they recognized this Eph. 4:11 ministry. They didn’t even acknowledge my question and I suspect that wouldn’t be unusual across today’s church.
Complacency comes easily and it is imperative that we are the Mt. 16:18 Church in our Day. We need those who have eyes to see, ears to see and the courage to speak, to alert and inform us and help us be relevant and prepared for the coming Day – – even if we need to tolerate some braying. Donkeys do that.
Kidron, Ohio USA
January 7, 2022
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