1 Timothy 3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
We are beginning a section now where Paul is going teach the qualification for officers in the church. Reading ahead, he tells us that there are two offices, overseer and deacon. We will be talking about the qualification of the overseer, or pastor first, and will likely be here for a couple of days.
First, we learn that whatever Paul is going to tell us is trustworthy. God wants us to be convinced that these words are directly from His mouth. We can trust that they will be normative the entire era of the church. God does not want his church to be led by other officers than these. He wants the leaders to hold certain character and practical qualification.
Second, the office of overseer is a worthy and noble calling. And any man who aspires to this office can know that his desire is a good one. Also note that this officer is to be a man, for the text tells us that he desires a noble task.
The greek word that is under our english word “overseer” is translated in the Bible, bishop, elder or pastor. So from here on out I will be referring to this office as pastor because that is what we call this person in our context.
The aspiring to the office, is a stretching out after the position. So the man who is desiring the office of pastor and is stretching himself out after it can know that he is desiring something noble.
From my perspective, I can think of no higher calling on a man’s life than a calling into the pastorate. I think it is a higher calling then being the president of the united states. The president is suppose to represent the people to the people. The pastor is suppose to represent God to the church. You tell me which calling is higher.
Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man, so the pastor is not the old testament priest. But, as John Stott said, the pastor stands in the gap between God and man.