As part of our remembrance for Timothy today, let us read a devotion about him adapted from Men and Women of the Word: 45 Meditations on Biblical Heroes.
1 Timothy 6:11–16
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Timothy was raised by a Jewish mother who believed in Christ and by a Greek father. We first encounter Timothy in Acts 16, when he meets Paul and joins Paul in his mission work. On today’s feast day, we thank God for filling Timothy with the Holy Spirit and using Timothy to steadfastly preach the Gospel.
Normally, in an all-Jewish household it was the responsibility of the father to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God had prescribed for Israel that in this way His commandments, precepts, and promises should be transmitted from generation to generation. When Timothy’s pagan father defaulted in this task, Eunice, his mother, and Lois, his grandmother, took over the basic religious training of the child.
Paul reminded Timothy of this maternal influence in his life when he wrote to his pupil: “From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Instead of the ephemeral wisdom of the Greek philosophers, Timothy was imbued with the wisdom exalted by Solomon and embodied in Jesus Christ. “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:22–24). In the Scriptures, Timothy had found the wise will and plan of God for him and for all people in Christ.
Since Timothy had no spiritual father in his own home, St. Paul became Timothy’s “father,” begetting him as a child of God by the seed of the Gospel. The elder statesman of Christ liked to think of Timothy as his “own son in the faith,” his “dearly beloved son.” Now Timothy belonged. Now he was adopted into the very family of God.
When his other assistants proved unreliable, Paul could turn confidently to Timothy to carry on the work he had begun. Writing to the Philippian Christians from his imprisonment, Paul gave Timothy this lofty endorsement: “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. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel” (Philippians 2:19–22).
Timothy kept growing stronger and stronger in this loyalty to the cause of Christ. According to tradition, Timothy, as an elderly bishop in Ephesus, was confronted one last time with the power and pressure of Greek paganism. According to tradition he was killed while attempting to stop an indecent heathen procession during the festival of Diana.
From beginning to end he was all Christ’s.
Devotional reading is adapted from Men and Women of the Word: 45 Meditations on Biblical Heroes, pages 142–44 © 1964, 1996 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Lord Jesus . . . be present with us today and enlighten, sanctify, and guide us that our deliberations may resound to Your glory, to our welfare, and to the growth of Your kingdom. . . . Hear us for the sake of Your grace and truth. Amen.
Prayer is from For the Life of the Church, page 49 © 2011 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.