Doyle Copeland – Timothy – March 2009

Our study of Timothy has been a good one. We first read of him in Acts 16 as a certain disciple, of a professing mother, but his father was a Greek. He was well reported of by the brethren who knew him, a good testimony.

From [II Tim 1:5] we read of the unfeigned faith that dwelt first in his grandmother, Lois, and also in his mother, Eunice, and this had a good influence on young Timothy, for Paul was persuaded this same faith dwelt in him also. This shows the helpful influence of professing parents and also grandparents. Even in our day, we cherish those youth amongst us who had a goodly heritage in such forefathers. In Timothy’s case, it was in his maternal background, and for sure, good mothers and grandmothers have a definite bearing on their children. (We are presently proclaiming the Gospel to a granddaughter of a good professing grandmother, this noble soul is gone, but her influence remains.)

Acts 16:3 tells of Timothy going into the work, and from this verse, it would seem that Paul chose him to go. But I Tim 4:14 mentions the gift that was given him by prophecy – which would suggest that a gift of prophecy was his, something of God, a revelation that was not motivated by man, but by God. Yes, he did accompany Paul on his second journey, and what a journey it was. Acts 16:4-5 show them going on a special meeting rounds, and am sure that meant much to young Timothy. They had an important message to deliver to the various Churches, and am sure the friends involved cherished this young man who was by Paul’s side. But then Acts 16:6-9 tell of wanderings over much terrain, with no recorded interest. Timothy was getting a taste of the afflictions of the Gospel, but he did not turn back, but plodded on by his noble companion. They had a good mission at Philippi, saw a Church established. Then they went on to Thessalonica, where another Church was formed, but again he experienced the adverse afflictions of the Gospel, went on to Berea, where they found some noble souls, another Church formed, but again more persecution. Because of the trouble, Paul had to leave and go to Athens, and Timothy and Silas stayed behind, and helped those loyal friends keep true. It seems then that Paul sent for Silas and Timothy to come to Athens, then later they went back to Macedonia (Acts 18:5).

Again in I Cor 4:17 Paul sent Timothy to Corinth. In I Tim 1:3, he was at Ephesus. In Phil 1:1, he was with Paul while he was in prison in Rome. Col 1:1 gives the same picture. Also, Philem 1:1 tells the same.

In II Tim 4:9, Timothy is urged by Paul to come to him shortly, likely Paul’s time was limited, and he wanted the fellowship of this faithful brother and companion. I am not sure about the precise order of all Timothy’s experiences, but for sure he had them, they were real. Heb 13:23 tells of his release from prison.

Yes, he had a long and useful career. Rom 16:21, he is termed Paul’s workfellow, which would suggest Timothy did not turn back from facing any condition, good or bad. In I Cor 16:10, he worked the work of the Lord, and perhaps the most endearing expression is in 1 Tim 1:2, where Paul calls him his own son in the faith. Paul never had legal sons, but he did have those like Timothy and Titus whom he could feel towards as his own sons, dear to his heart, and especially so as he neared the end of his journey.

I Tim 6:20 is touching: “Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust.” This exhortation would have stayed with Timothy all his life, spurring him on towards his finish in life. It has been a help to me, as the noble life of Timothy has been to many a worker since his day.