A famous preacher

Buried amid all the stewardship material in 2 Corinthians 8-9 is this little tidbit in verse 18:

With Titus we are also sending one of the Lord’s followers who is well known in every church for spreading the good news. (CEV)

Some thoughts that passed through my mind reading this:

Who is this preacher? Apollos? Apollos was apparently an excellent preacher, but the Corinthians knew him by name. Timothy? Luke? Someone else?

Why isn’t he named? Fame is fleeting: this preacher was famous in his time — remember, this is Paul describing him this way. But today we don’t know who he was. Which is fine, because the only fame that really matters is that God approved of his preaching.

We still need preaching. We could have become a Christian 30 or 50 or 75 years ago and still need to hear the gospel preached. Not because we haven’t heard it, but because we need to hear it again. C.S. Lewis says, “We need to be reminded more than instructed.” Paul (Paul!!) had nurtured this congregation for 18 months, and was still corresponding with them to help them grapple with tough doctrinal matters. There aren’t many churches that have heard the gospel as well as this one. But they still needed to hear the gospel, so Paul sent them a famous preacher.

We can hear preaching just as excellent. I’m assuming it was excellent preaching, because Paul endorses it, so it was done in the power of the Holy Spirit. Who is still at work today.

If, like most people, you attend a church that doesn’t have a famous preacher, don’t worry about it. Fame isn’t important. Instead, ask yourself if the Holy Spirit is speaking through them.

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