NKJV - 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.
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Teachers have a gift of being able to explain things (Luke 24:27) in a way that opens them up for understanding (Luke 24:31-31). Those who sit under a skilled teacher feel that complex subjects suddenly become "understandable" because the teacher was able to provide the proper framework or additional information for your mind to connect to the main idea. Good teachers use concrete examples to relate the topic to as much as possible. Concrete examples have a way of sitting with us longer and we remember them easier. Stories are concrete. We all love stories because we enter them ourselves. Definitions, on the other hand, are useful, but abstract and difficult to remember. The Bible tells the truth of God through story: Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, the Exodus, or David. That way we can remember the lesson and take carry it with us. Jesus was a master teacher. His use of parables - stories that draw you in to wrestle with a difficult subject, like the "kingdom of God" - are brilliant. Jesus uses concrete things from their world to help understand the abstractness of God's kingdom: yeast, mustard seed, a lost sheep, a lost coin, etc. Each detail of the parable draws to mind a particular characteristic that he wants to use as a metaphor. There is a parable about parables: "A teaching without a parable, what is it like? It is like a basket without handles. You have nothing to carry the teaching away with you." Everyone remembers a good teacher. They kept you engaged, raised your level of knowledge, and gave you the confidence to move out into the world. Check out Dr. Sandra Richter and her book, The Epic of Eden. She is an amazing teacher! A prophet is often someone who speaks truth to power. The prophets of the Old Testament, John the Baptist, and even Jesus all speak truth to those in power - the king and the religious leaders. Nathan was the only person in Israel who could walk into David's palace and chastise him over the Bathsheba incident (2 Samuel 12). He spoke truth to power. A prophet is someone who - if they see injustice or a situation in which truth needs to be spoken - simply cannot sit idly by. They must speak out like Jeremiah 20:9. As mentioned above, the prophet also acts as a mouthpiece for God when injustice or sin abounds.
Although a prophet is commonly thought of as one who predicts future events, the word "prophet" derives from Greek, meaning literally "one who speaks for, or on behalf of". In the biblical sense of the word, the prophet would be speaking on behalf of God, with a message that God has given to the prophet to convey, which may or may not involve the foretelling of what will happen in the future. The most common mission of prophets in the Bible was to bring people back to God by proclaiming to them how they had displeased God by departing from the way in which He wanted them to act (especially through the worship of false gods or idols), and to persuade them to forsake those practicies, and to return to a proper relationship with Him. (This is symbolized in the biblical account of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; and Luke 9:28-36) by the appearance of Elijah (who condemned the idolatry of King Ahab of Israel and his pagan wife Jezebel in 1 Kings 17 through 2 Kings 2) as a representative of all the Old Testament prophets.) As indicated in the verse from Ephesians cited in the question, the functions or gifts of prophecy and teaching are separate. I would express the difference between them by saying that, rather than proclaiming a message that God has given to them, religious teachers are individuals who instruct others in the learning and understanding of the messages and instruction that God has already revealed to humanity through others (such as the writers of the Bible), and in applying the guidance contained in those messages to daily living and relationships with both God and other people.
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