Paul and Timothy
Acts 16:1-3 ESV
1 Timothy 1:2 NKJV
2 Timothy 3:14-15 (Timothy taught scripture)
Philippians 2:19-20 NKJV
Acts 16:4-5 ESV
Acts 18:5-6 and Acts 20:4 (Paul with Timothy)
Acts 18:8-11 ESV
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
2 Timothy 1:12b-14 ESV
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
A Story of Love Series
We are first introduced to the Apostle Paul meeting Timothy (also referred to as Timotheus) during Paul’s first missionary journey.
In Acts 16:1-3 we learn, “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
It is believed that when Paul and Timothy met in Lystra in 46 A.D. Timothy would have been in his late twenties. Experts believe Paul was around 15 years older than Timothy. Even though Paul wasn’t a lot older than Timothy, he was known as being Timothy’s elder and teacher (https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-47/apostle-paul-and-his-times-christian-history-timeline.html).
Because Timothy was Hebrew on his Mother’s side and Greek on his Father’s side Paul paid to have Timothy circumcised. Paul wanted everyone to know for certain that Timothy was a man of faith who believed in God.
In 1 Timothy 1:2 Paul wrote, “To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We have to remember that prior to his conversion, Paul was a highly educated Pharisee who had studied under the great scholar Gamaliel. Timothy had been taught scripture by his Jewish mother when he was young (2 Timothy 3:14-15). As much as Paul considered him as a son in the faith, Paul also wrote of him in Philippians 2:19-20, “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.”
Paul was telling his readers in Philippi they could trust Timothy’s word as his own. That most certainly was a great compliment to his younger half-Hebrew, half-Gentile companion!
As Timothy joined Paul on this missionary journey, we learn in Acts 16:4-5 “As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.”
Timothy, Paul’s son in the faith was a great comfort to Paul when they traveled together. We know Paul and Timothy were together in Macedonia from Acts 18:5-6, and we also know Timothy was mentioned as part of Paul’s party in Macedonia in Acts 20:4. As Paul had contact with Timothy it’s clear that he was doing everything he could do to prepare Timothy to carry on when he (Paul) would no longer be able to travel.
Near the end of the Book of Acts, Paul presses on toward Jerusalem. He is arrested in Jerusalem around 57 A.D.
From Jerusalem he was taken to Caesarea and detained from 57-59 A.D.
From there he was taken to Rome (59-69 A.D.) and from prison he wrote letters to the Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and he also wrote to Philemon, Titus, and he wrote two letters to his dear son in the faith Timothy (1st and 2nd Timothy).
Paul’s letters to the early church and to others still serve as a great help and comfort today.
The Apostle Paul was martyred sometime after 60 A.D. Many scholars believe Paul went to be with the Lord in 64 A.D.
Paul’s letters written to Timothy contained advise of sound teaching and doctrine for the early church.
In 1 Timothy 6:11-12 Paul urges Timothy not to fall into temptation as others have done, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy the Apostle seemed to pour out bold words of encouragement to his son in the faith.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 he advised, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Paul also advised Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:12b-14, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
Many of us have song the words to the hymn I Know Whom I Have Believed” written by Daniel W. Whittle in 1883:
“I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”
Paul knew Timothy was able to preach and evangelize boldly as he carried on the message of Jesus after Paul was ‘away’.
Near the end of Paul’s last letter to Timothy he wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
I have often wondered if the Apostle Paul knew how very much the words he wrote from prison would uphold and inspire believers more than 2000 years later?
Paul loved Jesus so much that he gave his life to be able to speak the message of Jesus to the world.
Paul also loved his son, Timothy who he knew would continue preaching, teaching, and reaching long after he was gone.
It is believed that Timothy continued to spread the message of the gospel to the nations until he died around 97 A.D.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Memorize or Write
Choose one meaningful phrase or verse that Paul wrote to Timothy and either commit it to memory or write it on a piece of paper and put it somewhere so you will see it every day.
In God, Deborah
acrazyjourney.com for our Lord