“Well Thought Of By Outsiders” ( 1 Timothy 3: 7, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Paul outlines rather thoroughly the qualifications for the office of overseer (or bishop): this person “must be above reproach, the husband of one wife (or the man of one woman), sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” (1 Timothy 3:2-3) He should also be able to “manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive.” (1 Timothy 3:4) And, “he must not be a new convert.” (1 Timothy 3:6)

Then Paul writes to Timothy that in addition to these fine qualities, the bishop (or overseer) “must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

Today, I believe this final quality is overlooked and even demeaned as a catering to the world. Think about the recent scandal involving the self-proclaimed prophet who confidently announced the coming of the last day, and the ‘rapture’ of Christ’s church. Even now, this man is claiming the second coming was only miscalculated and is actually going to occur in October of this year. This man is hardly “thought well of by outsiders” and has indeed become “a snare of the devil.” He is leading many people to mock our Lord; and is likely causing new converts to doubt the veracity of God’s organized church and even His Word.

Nothing in the Word of God is to be skimmed over and is to never be dismissed as irrelevant — Paul clearly teaches that a person who desires to lead “must be well thought of by outsiders.”

“Listen!” (Matthew 20: 17 – 19, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Jesus knows beforehand He is to suffer in Jerusalem, and He privately warns His twelve disciples. He takes them aside, and says emphatically, “Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem.” Jesus is telling them to be prepared, to get ready for an event that alters His human life, their lives, and the lives of the rest of the world.

He says, “Get ready for the horrific events that are coming My way.”

Jesus also knows He is to be resurrected in Jerusalem; and is saying: “Get ready for the wonderful moment that is coming your way.”

After His crucifixion, His disciples are hiding, terrified having forgotten Jesus’ word, “Listen!” They are not ready, but the women — Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and others with them — are prepared before the Sabbath to bring spices and perfume to the body of their Lord, Jesus who is kindly taken from the Cross and entombed by Joseph, one of the Sanhedrin. They are not ready for His resurrection, but are dealing with an immediate need of His body.

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, [the women who came with Jesus from Galilee] come to the tomb, bringing the spices they have prepared. They find the stone rolled away from the tomb. They go in but do not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they are perplexed about this, suddenly two men stand by them in dazzling clothes. So the women are terrified and bow down to the ground. ‘Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ ask the men. ‘He is not here, but He is resurrected!’ ” (Luke 23: 56, 24: 1 – 6)

All are devastated, doubting, and then amazed at the events Jesus predicts for them before they go up to Jerusalem. Not one is fully prepared.

Jesus says to us, “Listen!”

“Beware Of Sheep’s Clothing” (Deuteronomy 18: 15, ESV) by Carley Evans


God warns us not to speak “presumptuously.” We are not to presume that we speak “a word” from the Lord. “When a prophet speaks in the Name of the Lord, if the Word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken.” (Deuteronomy 18: 22)

God tells us we “need not be afraid of him,” of the one who has presumed to speak for God. (Deuteronomy 18: 22)

God forbids certain practices in the prediction of the future, including divination, fortune-telling, interpretation of omens, sorcery, necromancy, seances. Whereas God at one time spoke to us directly, the Lord says He will provide a prophet who is like Him. He says, “I will put My Words in his mouth, and he shall speak.” (Deuteronomy 18: 18) We are to listen to the Words of a true prophet. We are to test the prophecy and the prophet, however.

Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7: 15 – 16) Further He warns, “On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ ” (Matthew 7: 22 – 23)

False prophets may very well do “mighty works,” but remain inwardly “ravenous wolves.” The mighty work may emerge from a practice which God forbids, or from motives not at all related to heaven’s calling.

God says, “That same prophet shall die.” (Deuteronomy 18: 20)