Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Timothy the Man

I have been doing a series on Sunday nights at my church on 1 Timothy. We began by looking at the background issues surrounding the letter, like authorship (Paul the Apostle), to whom it was written (Timothy) and where Timothy was when he received it (Ephesus).

I began to look at how Timothy began to travel with Paul. The account is found in Acts 16, when Paul came to a city in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) named Lystra. Timothy is described as a disciple who was half Jewish. The leaders of the church (that Paul founded) spoke well of him and Paul wanted to take him along, thus Timothy began a relationship with Paul that would prove fruitful to Paul and to several of the churches that Paul started. I wanted to back up and look at Paul’s first visit to Lystra to get a sense of what Timothy knew of Paul

Paul and Barnabas visited Lystra on Paul’s first missionary journey. They healed a man who had never walked and the people thought they were gods sent to earth. Paul showed great humility and deflected the praise and glory to his God. His success there prompted opposition from zealous Jews (like he had been). They stoned him and left him for dead outside of the city. It makes me wonder, what kind of impression did Paul leave on Timothy for him to leave with Paul? The last time he saw Paul, someone was trying to kill him and the next swing through town and Paul wants to take Timothy along. This passage speaks to me in two ways. One, what kind of impression did Paul leave on Timothy that he would want to follow him? All he knows is that to follow Paul may result in someone trying to assassinate me. Paul must have been seen as a type superhero for Timothy to follow him. Two, Timothy must have had incredible courage to follow Paul. He knew the potential danger and hardship that may accompany a trip with Paul.

It makes me wonder what kind of impression that I am leaving on those around me. As a leader, do I inspire people to take risks to follow me? Am I willing to do things that may result in hardship for me but will result in the glory of God? I will post again on some clues we can find about what kind of man Timothy of Lystra, true son of Paul in the faith, was.

1 comment:

jason allen said...

Very cool, we're doing a lot in 1 Timothy this summer too. Look forward to further thoughts from you on this.