Weekly Devotional 10-28-19 A Committed Life Produces Spiritual Fruit
Timothy, a child of mixed marriage; His mother was a Jewess, whereas his father (name unknown) was a Greek (Acts 16:1–3) was nurtured in Judaism by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (2nd Timothy 1:5) and brought to Christian faith by the apostle Paul (1st Timothy 1:2; 2nd Timothy 1:2). Timothy was probably living at Lystra when Paul made his first visit to that city (Acts 16:1), and he appears to have been converted at that time (14:6; cf. 2 Tim. 1:5). Those of the church who had the deepest insight into character and spoke with a prophetic utterance pointed to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:18; 4:14) as specially fit for missionary work; and Paul desired to have him as a companion. The apostle circumcised him (Acts 16:3), and Timothy was set apart as an evangelist by the laying on of hands (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:5).
Timothy became one of Paul’s most constant companions. They and Silvanus, and probably Luke also, journeyed to Philippi (Acts 16:12), and there the young evangelist was already conspicuous for his filial devotion and zeal (Phil. 2:19–22). He seems to have been left behind at Philippi to watch over the infant church. He appeared at Berea, where he remained with Silas after Paul’s departure (Acts 17:14), joining Paul at Athens. From Athens he was sent back to Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:2), since he had special gifts for comforting and teaching. He left Thessalonica, not for Athens, but for Corinth, and his name is united with Paul’s in the opening words of both letters written from that city to the Thessalonians (1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1). Of the five following years of his life we have no record. He is next mentioned as being sent on in advance when the apostle was contemplating the long journey that was to include Macedonia, Achaia, Jerusalem, and Rome (Acts 19:22). It is probable that he returned by the same route and met Paul according to a previous arrangement (1 Cor. 16:10) and was thus with him when the second epistle was written to the church of Corinth (2 Cor. 1:1). He returned with the apostle to that city and joined in messages of greeting to the disciples whom he had known personally at Corinth and who had since gone to Rome (Rom. 16:21). He formed one of the company of friends who went with Paul to Philippi and then sailed by themselves, waiting for his arrival by a different ship (Acts 20:3–6).
No further mention is made of him until he rejoined the apostle, probably soon after his arrival in Rome. He was with Paul when the epistles to the Philippians, the Colossians, and Philemon were written (Phil. 1:1; 2:19; Col. 1:1; Philem. 1). It follows from 1 Tim. 1:3 that he and Paul, after the release of the latter from his imprisonment, revisited proconsular Asia, that the apostle then continued his journey to Macedonia, while Timothy remained, half-reluctantly, even weeping at the separation (2 Tim. 1:4), at Ephesus to check if possible the outgrowth of heresy and licentiousness that had sprung up there. He had to exercise rule over presbyters, some older than himself (1 Tim. 4:12); to render judgments (5:1, 19–20); to regulate the almsgiving and sisterhood of the church (vv. 3–10); and to ordain overseers and deacons (3:1–13). These duties, together with the danger of being entangled in the disputes of rival sects, made Paul anxious for the steadfastness of his disciple. Among his last recorded words Paul expressed his desire to see him again (2 Tim. 4:9, 21). It is uncertain whether Timothy was able to fulfill these last requests of the apostle, or that he reached Rome before Paul’s death, although some have seen in Hebrews 13:23 an indication that he shared Paul’s imprisonment. According to an old tradition, Timothy continued to act as bishop of Ephesus and suffered martyrdom under Domitian or Nerva.
While most of this devotional is focused on Timothy, his path of life was established by the faithful commitment of his grandmother and mother. Both were Jews who lived under Roman rule. Eunice, Timothy’s mother, was married to a Greek and by culture was subservient to both he and Rome. Yet Lois and Eunice raise up Timothy faithfully directing him in Judaism which gave him a necessary background for a later commitment to Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah and man’s redeemer. According to extrabiblical Tradition Lois was born into the Jewish faith, and later accepted Christianity along with her daughter Eunice.
The point is, a truly committed life produces spiritual fruit. Without the commitment of Lois and Eunice, would there ever have been a Timothy as described by the above?
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
The compilation of information concerning
Timothy, Lois and Eunice was derived from Unger’s Bible Dictionary revised and
updated by Moody Press, Chicago, IL.