1 & 2 Timothy Part One Dive
TIMOTHY – THE BEST PHOTO BOMBER EVER!
I have been studying the Books of Timothy and all I can say is ‘WOW’, this guy is all in! He doesn’t hold back, when he commits to something he does it with all his heart. In the Books of Timothy, we get to hear about what Timothy is battling with, and we will have a chat about that in our next Dive, but when I read the Books of Timothy and the life of Timothy, I am ashamed of how laidback I am when it comes to my Christianity.
As mentioned in the Snapshot video, Timothy is everywhere, involved in everything you can’t read a book without Timothy popping up. If Paul was on Instagram, you can imagine Timothy would be photo-bombing every photo! Do you know what a photobomb is? It’s when someone takes a picture and the person in the background overtakes the shot. As you read the Bible, it becomes comical; everywhere Paul went, there’s Timothy, and then the next book, there he is, and then again in the next book. I love this 'all in' Christianity! Timothy lives his life in activewear! He never takes it off, he is never not active in his Christianity. Even in the Books of Timothy, when you hear his discouragement, he is still all in, passionate about bodily discipline (a little too much!), but still in Ephesus and we know that he stays there, all in, until he dies.
WHO IS TIMOTHY?
We first meet Timothy in Acts 16. Paul comes to his hometown of Derbe, where Timothy is living with his Greek father, his mother and grandmother, both Jewish Christians. The first thing that Timothy has to do to follow Paul is a massive test of his commitment. He doesn’t just have to say the sinner's prayer or get water baptised, he has to be circumcised – remember as you read your Bible to stop and think about the person, would you do what they are doing? Timothy is about nineteen years old and the first test of commitment to his new found faith is to be circumcised! I love Timothy. From the beginning he knew there was going to be a personal cost, personal pain to his commitment but he doesn’t stop.
1 Tim. 1:3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Now, there is so much debate around why Paul made Timothy get circumcised when he later stands firm and refuses for Titus (his other son in the faith) to be circumcised in Galatians 2:3-5. Grab a commentary and read what they say around this point – it is very interesting!
TIMOTHY AND PAUL
Timothy’s time travelling with Paul must have been incredible. Imagine the adventures they went on, imagine travelling with this church planting revolutionary leader! Let me show you all the things that Timothy got involved in while travelling with Paul. He doesn’t turn back like Mark in Acts 13:13, he is there the whole time being obedient to the gospel, the call of God in his life and to what Paul wanted him to do.
We see in Acts 17:13 that Timothy and Silas had to stay in Berea while Paul was sent to the coast to flee from the agitating crowds. But wait a second, that means Timothy and Silas were still with the agitating crowds and the people knew that they had been with Paul. That would have been a scary moment! Timothy and Silas then meet up with Paul again in Macedonia in Acts 18:5 imagine the stories they told each other when they met! Timothy’s journey continues in 1 Corinthians
1 Cor. 4:17 For this reason, I have sent you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
Let’s think about this TYB: when you study the relationship between Paul and the Corinthians at this point, it isn’t good. Timothy was sent into a volatile situation to calm it down, to be Paul’s representative in this mess. Imagine the welcome when he arrived at Corinth (or lack thereof)! Actually, Paul has to say to be nice, look at 16:10 When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers. Seriously, Paul had to write this because Timothy had something to fear going into this situation. But we know Timothy, he is all in!
It says in Acts 19:22 That Timothy and Erastus were sent to Macedonia while Paul stayed in Asia. Imagine being a part of Paul’s team, you are sent to churches to help out, back with Paul, preaching and teaching, then sent out again. On your own as Paul goes somewhere else, back with Paul preaching. We know that Timothy was sent by Paul to Ephesus to look after that church and put things in order (1 Timothy 1:3). What a life of adventure!
TIMOTHY IN PRISON WITH PAUL.
Lastly, I want to show you something that I have missed in my studies until now. There are numerous books in the New Testament that are written from Paul and Timothy. Let me show you Philippians 1:1 'Paul and Timothy servants of Christ' and Colossians 1:1 'Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother'. We can overlook this really easily but when you think about this, this shows the character of Timothy more than any other verse in the Bible. Where is Paul when he is writing these books? Remember Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon are prison letters. Meaning Paul was in prison when he wrote these letters, meaning Timothy is with him! WHAT!! Yep, Timothy was so committed to the gospel message and to the ministry of Paul that when Paul went to prison, so did he! Now I know at this point Paul is under house arrest but seriously Timothy doesn’t leave him even at this point. Scholars have debated whether Timothy was sentenced with Paul, charged with the same offences of preaching the gospel or whether he went with him because where Paul went he went!
Imagine the judge sentencing Paul and as he gets escorted from the room, Timothy stands up from the courtroom and walks out the back door with him. The Judge is shocked, son, I didn’t sentence you to prison. Timothy smiles – where he goes I go! I’m all in and I’ve got the scars to prove it!
Hebrews 13:23 shows again that Timothy was in prison for the gospel, seriously nothing is going to stop this guy! It reads:' I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you'.
ARE YOU ALL IN?
Are you that kind of Christian? Are you an all in Christian, when the church is going great you are in serving in the House of God, when it gets a little rough you are all in, when you have to do something you don’t want to do, it’s all good I’m all in! The books of 1 & 2 Timothy are going to stir you afresh to be an all-in Christian.
History tells us that on the advice from Paul in the letters that you are about to read, Timothy stays in Ephesus and actually dies a martyr during a pagan celebration. He was so passionate about the gospel he went to the celebration to correct them for their ridiculous idolatry and they killed him for it. So Timothy – I’m all in!
As you read these incredible letters of Timothy, you are going to hear the good and bad of his life but remember this is the same ALL IN Timothy that was circumcised for the faith at 19, was sent to churches to help with issues when it really wasn’t going to be fun, went to prison with Paul for the gospel and stayed in Ephesus after Paul left to build this church. Get inspired and challenged as you read the heart of Paul and the life of Timothy in these incredible letters.