A wise pastor wants to become a technical, devotional reader. Every technical skill remains, but he reads like a child, letting the Word speak directly to him again. He gains what Paul Ricoeur called a “second naiveté.” He is both technically astute and meek. He both receives God’s Word and also expounds it. He grows in faith and godliness again. Suppose he reads Matthew 5:22: “Anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin.” The pastor will explain what “Raca” meant: “‘Raca’ expresses contempt for the mind—You brainless idiot!'” He will apply this to his people several ways, but he will see his temptation too. Pastors typically have a graduate degree. As intelligent, trained adults, as knowledge workers, pastors are especially tempted to despise the ignorant. He tells others how they can express contempt, and he watches himself too.
How Preachers Read the Bible for Themselves