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2 Timothy 4:1–2
From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope
As to where it is said, “Feed my lambs,” and “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15), it does not follow that a particular superiority was given Peter. Christ bids Peter to “feed,” that is, teach the Word, or oversee the church with the Word, a call that Peter has in common with the other apostles.
Pulling It Together
All shepherds of the flock, each one a pastor of the gospel and bishop or overseer of their congregations, are commissioned with the charge to preach the Word. All pastors are ordained to the office of Word and Sacrament. The responsibility is the sacred trust of all, not one. Each is to feed the sheep, no matter the depth of feeling for Christ. It is the call, not the emotion, at play here. That is why pastors are to preach in season and out, when they feel like it and when they do not, whether they sense that they are in charge or that things are out of control. After all, they are not in charge; Christ is the head of the church.
Prayer: Give us pastors, Lord, who preach your Word in season and out of season. Amen.
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